Need for Harmonization of Standards for Processed foods:Infant Milk as a Case StudyAuthor(s): Geeta Mathur
Harmonization of standards is one of the most important tasks for the regulators across the world when it comes to processed foods. The global food trade especially of processed foods must adopt and follow harmonized standards. In recent times, almost every country has initiated the process of adopting the Harmonized codes(Food Code System)for processed foods. In India, FSSAI has also been up-to date With the global trends in food industry and key capability building projects are kept in focus, as per the Requirements arising out of it.Already,FSSAI has divided processed foods in various categories, keeping in view the exercise of harmonization inorder. There are a total of 18 categories of processed foods. Products are categorized based on; a) origin of raw food,b)type of raw food,c)process employed for production and d)type of processed food. Category 1to17 is for products, well defined. All other products which could not be categorized so clearly are listed together as18th category which is designated as category 99.The present paper, as a case study of Infant milk powder, deals with the comparison of standards being adopted by different countries. It is the comparative study of how infant milk powder is described by regulatory authorities of different countries. How infant milk is defined and the specifications are stipulated as standards for it. The comparison has been done taking into account the regulations of FSSAI, EU and USFDA. From the study, it is evident that there remain a lot of gap areas which need to be bridged in order to ensure that the consumers across the world get quality food of same standards. The outcome of this study will be useful for all stake holders of processed food(infant milk powder)across the world. In India, there are a large number of products of this category in the market, the manufacturers and consumers will benefit from findings of this study.