India wants to amend food labelling regulations to require warnings about cholesterol-reducing agents plant stanol esters and glucose source trehalose.

Packaged food items, incuding dairy products, breakfast cereals and chocolate, could soon have to specify the quantity of plant stanol ester as plant stanols per 100g or 100ml in products.

Labels could also need to carry a warning declaring: “Patients on cholesterol-lowering medication, pregnant and breast-feeding women and children under the age of five years should only use the product under medical supervision (Consumption of more than 3 gm per day of added plant stanols should be avoided).”

A senior official at the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) told just-food that “until now it was not mandatory to make these disclosures and it has been done for public awareness as reducing cholesterol is not good for children and pregnant women”.

The draft of the amendments to India’s packaging and labelling Regulations also propose to make it mandatory for food companies to specify ‘trehalose – source of glucose’ on labels if the product contains the ingredient.

The notification released by FSSAI is awaiting objections and suggestions from stakeholders.

“Manufactures and importers of these products can send us their opinion in the next 60 days (by late October) on what should be there and what should not be there,” the FSSAI official said.