Registrations Discontinued for Manufacturers of Fortified Rice Kernel

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued an order to strengthen the quality control mechanism for Fortified Rice (FR), Fortified Rice Kernel (FRK) and Pre-mix for FRK. This order was based upon a review of the existing regulatory mechanism of manufacturing FR and FRK. It was issued on 8th November, 2023.

The order observes that distribution of FR through public distribution system is a program of national importance. It also observed that it is in public interest to strengthen the quality control mechanism for such products. Hence the present order contemplates the following key aspects:

  • Manufacturers of FRK and Premix of FRK to obtain FSSAI Licence

All manufacturers of FRK and Premix of FRK will no longer have the option of obtaining FSSAI Registrations. They will have to mandatorily obtain FSSAI Licences. These licences may either be central or state depending on the fulfillment of eligibility criteria.

These manufacturers are permitted a transition time of three months to shift to license and utilize existing packaging and labeling materials. Failure to transition to licences will result in the manufacturers no longer being permitted to manufacture FRK and Premix of FRK.

The FSSAI will withhold recognition of the said two products in the existing Registration Certificates (RCs). Hence the FBOs will be debarred from further manufacturing of these products under the RCs.

  • Testing of FRK and Premix of FRK

Every batch of FRK and premix of FRK manufactured shall be tested for relevant parameters as prescribed under Food Safety and Standards Regulation. Such testing shall be undertaken by the concerned manufacturing Food Business Operators (FBOs) including those manufacturing under RCs.

The FBOs shall then, mandatorily, upload these test reports on FoSCos portal. Simultaneously, they shall also submit the self declaration covering the details such as source of iron used and the blending ratio of FRK with rice for every batch of production of FRK.

The testing of FRK and premix of FRK can be done only in FSSAI notified laboratories. It may be recalled that the FSSAI had issued a revised list of laboratories on 2nd November, 2023.

  • Procurement of FRK and Premix of FRK

Manufacturers of FR and FRK shall procure raw material (FRK and premix) only from FSSAI Licensed vendors. Such vendors must possess a copy of the lab report of the testing of FRK and premix, tested only through FSSAI notified laboratories.

Through these directions, FSSAI has tightened its scrutiny over the quality control mechanism of FR and FR products. The FSSAI seeks to enhance the quality of such products in the market in the light of public interest.