Mandatory colour differentiation for non-edible ice in India from June

By Lester Wan contact

- Last updated on GMT

The FSSAI stated that in the absence of visible distinction between edible ice and non-edible ice, non-edible ice has been diverted and consumed. ©GettyImages
The FSSAI stated that in the absence of visible distinction between edible ice and non-edible ice, non-edible ice has been diverted and consumed. ©GettyImages
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a new colouring directive to differentiate between edible and non-edible ice.

The order has gone out to all Commissioners of Food Safety of all states and union territories in India, all Central Licensing Authorities in the country and all food business operators.

The FSSAI highlighted that the use of non-edible ice, made from non-potable water, is a health hazard if consumed.

“Similarly the incorrect use of non-edible ice for preservation or storage or transportation of perishable food commodities may lead to contamination of such food commodities,”​ said the authority.

The FSSAI stated that in the absence of visible distinction between edible ice and non-edible ice, non-edible ice has been “diverted and consumed”​.

New colour bar

From now on, a food colour — either Indigo Carmine or Brilliant Blue up to 10ppm — must be used in the production of non-edible ice, including non-edible ice blocks coming into contact with food products during the preservation, storage or transportation of perishable food commodities, to give them a bluish look or appearance “so as to enable clear differentiation with edible ice, which must remain colourless”​.

“All business operators engaged in the production or use of edible or non-edible ice must ensure visible distinction between edible and non-edible ice by using food colour as mentioned above in non-edible ice with effect 1 June 2018,” ​said Garima Singh, director of regulatory compliance at FSSAI.

Development of legislation

The authority had previously prescribed the safety standards of edible ice in Regulation 2.7.5 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.

Singh stated: “Food Safety Commissioners of states or union territories are requested to enhance surveillance or enforcement on the sale of non-edible ice so as to ensure compliance of this directive.”

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