FSSAI Notification on Packaging Material

FSSAI Notification on Packaging Material:

Food has been packed for many centuries in various ways, traditionally in glass and metal containers. Packaging of food started to protect it from damage, protect it from direct exposure to sunlight, for preservation, convenience of transportation, to increase the shelf life and also for giving information related to food and branding.

With the urbanization and change in life style the Food Packaging Industry has become very dynamic and is changing as per the requirements of the consumer. The fast growing fast food industry and ‘Take A Ways’ are becoming part of the lifestyle.

As the Packaging Industry is growing very fast, concerns related safety of their use has also become crucial.

Food is packaged in various materials that include Plastic (with various coatings), Glass, Paper, multilayer packaging material, Cardboard, Metal and their alloys, Ceramics, textiles, Silicones regenerated Cellulose. These materials may be lined resins or other active materials. The other elements that may come in contact with food may be adhesives, printing inks, varnishes, corks, and coatings as part of the packaging.

On January 3, 2019, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) announced new regulations with respect to food packaging. Food businesses will have until July 1, 2019 to comply with the new regulations.

The standard has various requirements such as :

General requirements:

Food Contact Material used should be compatible with the product packed, should also withstand the chemical, mechanical and thermal variations during the transportation. The material used for packaging should be clean, hygienic and tamper proof.

Printed surface should not come directly in contact with food and shall comply IS 15495- Printing inks for use on food packages.

In case of multi layer packaging the packaging material shall meet the requirements specified in Schedule I, II and III of the above Regulations. The material shall be tested in NABL (National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories) accredited labs.

Specific Requirements:

 1. Paper and Board Material – The paper is used to package a number of foods like Pizza, Rolls,       Burgers , chocolates, etc. The paper or board should to be clean, even, with cuts and stains or blemishes   and should meet the requirements of Schedule I.

  • The Schedule I includes the IS specification for the following –
  • Grease Proof Paper – IS 6622
  • Vegetable parchment or grease paper/Aluminuim Foil Laminate- IS 7161
  • Aluminium Foil Laminates - IS 6615
  • Folding Box Board, uncoated – IS 1776
  • Corrugated Fibre Board Boxes- IS 2771-(P-I)        

2. Glass containers in Food Contact –

Glass needs to be smooth, with no blisters, cracks, sharp edges and visible defects.

3. Metal and Alloys that come in Contact with Food-

The containers in which food may be cooked, heated, stored or canned should be free from rust and copper and Brass containers have to be tinned properly and shall meet the Schedule II of this Regulations.

Schedule II – includes the following

  • Cold-reduced Electrolytic Tinplate-IS 1993/ISO 11949 
  • Wrought Aluminium and Aluminium Alloy sheet and strip for General Engineering-IS 737 
  • Aluminium and Aluminium Alloy Bare Foil for Food Packaging-IS 15392
  • Wrought Aluminium and Aluminium Alloys for manufacture of utensils-IS 21
  • Round open Top Sanitary cans for foods and Drinks – Part l 

4. Plastic Materials intended to come in Contact with Food-

Various Plastic material used are High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) Low-Density Polyethylene (LDPE) ,Polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS) , Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET). PET is used for packaged drinking water.

The requirements are as follows –

  • All FCM made of Plastic pass the Overall Migration limit of 60mg/Kg or 10mg/dm2when tested as per IS 9845
  • Pigments or colorants used in plastics shall conform to IS 9833
  • Packaging material shall not release substances exceeding limits of Specific Migration as per list below – 
Sr NoContaminantMaximum Migration Limit (Mg/Kg)
   1 Barium  1.0
   2 Cobalt  0.05
   3 Copper  5.0
   4 Iron  48.0
   5 Lithium  0.6
   6 Manganese  0.6
   7 Zinc  25.0
  •  Plastic Material manufactures shall conform to Schedule III for manufacturing the FCM that mentions Specifications for materials as below-
  1. Polyethylene
  2. Polystyrene
  3. Ply Vinyl Chloride (PVC)
  4. Polypropylene
  5. Nylon 6 polymer
  6. LDPE
  7. HDPE
  8. LLDPE
  9. PET 

The standards also mentions List of Suggestive Packaging materials for different food categories as mentioned in Schedule IV.

European Union has specific requirement for FCM in EC/10, USFDA has in the series of 21 CFR 170, BfR German guidelines. All these guidelines has specific limits for migration for Aromatic Amine6 Phthalates (DEHP, BBP, DBP, DINP, DIDP, DAP1-hexene Phosphorous acid, tris [nonyl - and/ or dinonylphenyl]) ester BADGE, BADGE derivatives, BFDGE, NOGE, Vinylidene, PPVE (Perfluoro propyl vinyl ether), Mono Ethylene glycol, Di Ethylene glycol Terephthalic Acid ,Isopthalic Acid ,Formaldehyde, Antimony Trioxide etc.

There are specifications for Non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) in food contact materials. NIAS include impurities of the substance formed as a reaction to the products being used during the manufacturing of food contact materials.

TUV India with its state of Art Testing facility can perform testing of all types of Packaging material as per FSSAI, EC/10, USFDA, BfR and Chinese guidelines.

About The Author

Sonia NandreSenior General Manager - Laboratory Operations,Pune
TUV India Pvt Ltd