India's FSSAI recategorises dietary supplements for sports use as Foods for Special Dietary Uses

By Tingmin Koe

- Last updated on GMT

India's FSSAI has recategorised dietary supplements for sports use as Foods for Special Dietary Uses. ©Getty Images
India's FSSAI has recategorised dietary supplements for sports use as Foods for Special Dietary Uses. ©Getty Images

Related tags India Sports nutrition Fssai

Indian regulator Food Safety and Standards Authority India (FSSAI) has announced that all dietary supplements for sports use will be categorised as Foods for Special Dietary Uses (FSDU), which means that manufacturers will need to operate according to FSDU rules.

With the new categorisation, dietary supplements for sportsperson will now need to adhere to the Food, Safety, and Standards Regulations implemented in 2016.

This includes regulations pertaining to the essential composition, claims, labelling, permitted use of additives, and the permissible limits of contaminants, toxins and residues in the product.

Coming under FSDU also means that no hormones, steroids, or psychotropic ingredients can be added into supplements for sports use.

In addition, these products will be regulated based on the composition of vitamins and minerals, amino acids, ingredients of plants or botanical origin, nutraceuticals, probiotics, and prebiotics.

Do the following

Supplement manufacturers will now need to adopt five steps when manufacturing sports supplements.   

First, it is mandatory to register and obtain a license from the FSSAI. All local and overseas manufacturers will also need to have an Indian-registered office with local contact details to address consumer grievances, and manufacturing plants will be periodically audited.

Second, correct labelling and claims on the product must be monitored and ensure by the firms, including terms such as “For sportspersons only”, “Recommended to be used under medical advice or dietetic supervision only”, ​and “The food should be used in conjunction with an appropriate physical training or exercise regime”.

Third, firms must ensure product authenticity by making sure that the packing is tamper-proof, authenticating the sellers or distributors and publishing details of authorised sellers through websites or advertisements.

In addition, each individual product package should have an independent marking for end-users to validate the product’s authenticity.

Fourth, complete visibility of the entire supply chain needs to be provided and lastly, the expiry or best-before-dates must be visible when selling the products online.

Firms also need to conduct periodical tests using FSSAI approved labs, at best bi-annually, before they can claim their products to be free from prohibited substances.

Business owners should also maintain a repository of Certificate of Analysis (COAs) of the completed tests for ready reference, and keep control samples properly preserved and stored as per Food Safety and Standards.

Importers will need to ensure that they import only products which comply with FSSAI-specified standards and regulations.

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