« food section pagePromotional content

May 02 2018. 09 00 PM Wed

Food safety policies need to cover the entire chain, from farm to fork

It is important that both the industry and government work in partnership to facilitate the growth of fortified food products

There is an opportunity for brands to enable healthy lives for consumers in a framework where products are purchased not only for taste but also for the nutritional value. | Photo: Mint

India is one of the leading producers of food globally and there is a lot of potential which can be harnessed to create a safe and healthy food ecosystem in the country.

Food safety is critically important for improving public health and policies need to cover the entire food chain, from farm to fork. The regulatory environment in India is very dynamic, with developments moving at a rapid pace.

Thus to contribute effectively to strengthening the food safety environment in India, Nestlé established the Nestlé Food Safety Institute (NFSI) in Manesar, which combines our global expertise in food quality and science into a larger foot print. Through this institute, we conduct training programmes on food safety management systems, testing methods and regulatory standards. All individual steps across the value chain in the "farm to fork" need attention. This holistic approach enables farmers and manufacturers to address issues early on, through measures that mitigate the hazard ideally at the crop stage.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is doing a commendable job in promoting and ensuring food safety and quality. Its continued focus has been to create a science-based regulatory environment that protects consumers' interest and creates an enabling environment for the food industry. Its massive outreach efforts from schools to our homes to workplaces is helping develop a culture of food safety and nutrition across India.

Quality and safety are the key pillars of Nestlé India and we want to share knowledge through collaborative partnerships to help improve food safety in the country. We launched Project Serve Safe Food in collaboration with National Association of Street Vendors of India and have trained over 5,000 street food vendors across India in food safety and hygiene since its inception in 2016.

Our Nestlé Quality Management System encompasses the whole value chain from farm to fork, ensuring appropriate controls are in place at each step of the chain to ensure that our products are safe and compliant. The initiatives for strengthening food standards through consistent scientific review of mechanisms and regulations will go a long way in helping to ensure a safe and healthy food environment in the country.

Fortification is recognised as the most effective strategy to address micronutrient deficiency. However, in India, only 2-5% of food items are believed to be fortified with the micronutrients lacking in many Indian diets. As per the 2015-16 National Family Health Survey, 53% females and 22.7% males (15-45 years) suffer from iron deficiency with an almost equal split across rural and urban India.

The government is encouraging enrichment of food items with micronutrients to address dietary deficiencies among certain sections of the population and FSSAI has operationalised the draft Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations 2016 for fortifying food staples. FSSAI regulated that fortified foods should bear a logo indicating that the item has been fortified and enriched with essential nutrients. Nestlé India is always exploring ways to fortify its mass consumption products to close the gap and contribute to the larger national objective. Fortifying our Popularly Positioned Products with micronutrients can help address deficiencies where they are most prevalent—among lower-income consumers.

We are building a better and stronger Maggi brand driven by our purpose of enhancing quality of life and contributing to a healthier future. We want to introduce products that offer healthier choices as we simplify our ingredients and encourage home cooking. At the forefront of this drive is the commitment to reshape Maggi products to emphasize the use of familiar and common ingredients people know and use.

We have fortified our products such as Maggi Masala-ae-Magic spice seasoning. Maggi Masala-ae-Magic, which is the first ever fortified taste enhancer that can be used across different cuisines in India, efficiently enhances the taste inherent in the ingredients already present. It is specifically fortified with iron, vitamin A and iodine, which are known to be widespread deficiencies in India. Last year, we also fortified Maggi Masala noodles with iron. With 2.5 billion portions consumed annually in India, Maggi Masala noodles offer a powerful platform to address iron deficiency through the iron fortified variant. We have also taken steps to fortify other product categories as well, such as MILO, Nestlé A+ milk.

It is important that both the industry and government work in partnership to facilitate the growth of fortified food products. There is an opportunity for brands to enable healthy and productive lives for consumers in a framework where products are purchased not only for taste but also for the nutritional value. The consumption patterns in the country have also undergone significant changes with more consumers opting for healthier packaged foods and we want to offer healthier choices to our consumers.

The author is chairman and managing director of Nestlé India Ltd.

Jun 21 2018. 11 46 PM Thu

'Smart cities are not only about sensors and gadgets but also mobility, development, jobs'

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to challenges cities face today, said panellists at the 'Danfoss-Mint Transformation Agenda...

Jun 21 2018. 11 15 PM Thu

India's future lies in creating carbon-neutral cities, says Danfoss India's Purushothaman

With the fast pace of urbanization across India and the world, adopting carbon-neutral technologies and offering innovative solutions...

Jun 06 2018. 10 44 AM Wed

How new-age infrastructure projects are redefining India

The rising aspirations and needs of citizens are driving India towards new-age infrastructure where "SMART" is the byword. Almost every new infra project, be it...

Jun 06 2018. 10 43 AM

My dream is that people will soon zoom on smart highways: Nitin Gadkari

Nitin Gadkari, minister for road transport and highways, said his dream project of smart highways is progressing in the right direction. Smart roads...

Jun 05 2018. 06 38 PM

Inclusive agenda key win for smart cities programme

The project cost for all cities put together is ₹2.02 trillion, split into area-based development projects costing ₹1.63 trillion, and pan-city solutions projects...

May 30 2018. 01 05 AM

India turns hot spot for global firms offering smart mobility

India's quest for smart mobility has made the country a hot spot for international companies to offer their latest technologies such as pod taxis, hyperloop, electric...

May 21 2018. 12 48 PM

Organized supply chain, growing crops in sync with demand can boost farmers' incomes

Growing crops in sync with market demand can boost farmers' income, while organized supply chain can reduce loss of...

May 09 2018. 10 08 PM

Govt creating infra to reduce food waste, says Harsimrat Badal

Food processing minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal said the government is working to reduce wastage of food by creating a cold chain grid across the country...

May 02 2018. 09 09 PM

Making India's fruit processing industry globally competitive

India is the second largest country in terms of arable land, roughly 160 million hectares. It also ranks second in production of fruits and vegetables. India has 15...

May 02 2018. 09 00 PM

Food safety policies need to cover the entire chain, from farm to fork

India is one of the leading producers of food globally and there is a lot of potential which can be harnessed to create a safe and healthy food ecosystem in the country...

May 02 2018. 08 17 PM

Organic food market to grow at 20-25%: 24 Mantra Organic CEO

Organic produce is an emerging market in India, clocking a turnover of Rs3,350 crore in 2016, and is expected to treble it by 2020. According to N. Balasubramanian...

Apr 25 2018. 10 04 AM

Food safety needs a collaborative approach

Our country, though agriculturally abundant, is still struggling to provide its large population with the right nutrition. In a few decades, as we continue to grow in numbers and economically...

Apr 25 2018. 09 50 AM

Can there be a viable value chain for fresh fruits and vegetables?

India has seen large investments in supply chain of apple by way of controlled atmosphere cold stores in which oxygen levels are reduced from about 21% to 2% and...

Apr 25 2018. 09 43 AM

Will food processing boost prices for farmers?

Last month, Premsingh Chavan, a farmer from Maharashtra's Marathwada region, destroyed his ready-to-harvest crop of tomatoes and cauliflowers after wholesale prices...

Mar 30 2018. 03 11 AM

Policies, institutions, bureaucracy key to energy efficiency mission'

'Energy saved is energy gained' should be the mantra for India's evolving energy paradigm, said experts at Mint Danfoss Transformation agenda on energy...

Mar 12 2018. 12 51 AM

We are preparing a national strategic plan for energy efficiency: BEE's Abhay Bakre

State-backed Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE) is leading the government's efforts to set energy efficiency benchmarks and to have...

Mar 12 2018. 01 41 AM

Achieving energy efficiency key to meeting lower emissions commitment

It is important to educate consumers and spread awareness of various energy efficient options in the market that can help in optimizing...

Feb 28 2018. 06:38 AM

Getting around India's energy efficiency conundrum

The road towards energy efficiency hasn't been easy due to lack of funds, resulting in the govt rolling out a number of policies that include a market-based trading mechanism...

Feb 28 2018. 12:19 AM

The road ahead: charting own path while learning from global experience

Rapid industrialization and growing population are increasingly changing the ecology of the planet. With all the increment in population and development, there are growing...


Energy efficiency is the new source of energy

The whole world may be looking to find the next best source of energy, so we can reduce the dependence on fossil fuel, and generate environment-friendly energy. But do you know that one of the largest sources of energy may just be energy efficiency?...


Raising the bar for a greener tomorrow

Rapid industrialization and growing population are increasingly changing the ecology of the planet. With all the increment in population and development, there are growing concerns of greenhouse gas emissions depleting green cover and causing global...


How an efficient cold chain is the answer to food losses and doubling farmers' income?

India is the world's second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, but also accounts for one of the biggest food loss and waste with harvest and post-harvest losses in fruits, vegetables, and grains worth...


Govt looks at energy-efficient ways to tackle climate change

The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has embarked on a multi-pronged strategy for achieving its climate change commitments, with measures ranging from combating air and water pollution to global...


India needs to do more to reduce carbon emissions

India is among the fastest growing economies and the third largest emitting country in the world, but has always held the onus of climate change on developed countries for their historical emissions. If it is the responsibility of every country to protect its...


As temperatures rise, nearly half of South Asia's population at risk

Average temperatures have risen over the past six decades and continue to do so in South Asia, making it, particularly India, where 75% of the population is dependent on agriculture, one of the regions most vulnerable to climate...


Average sea levels may rise by up to 30 ft on global warming, says study

Average sea levels may rise by up to 30 feet around the world if humans continue to burn fossil and fuels causing temperatures to breach the threshold of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial...


The need to invest more on climate change education

Nearly half of the population in India lives in places that are likely to become moderate or severe climate hot spots by 2050, according to a World Bank Study launched very recently. Changing rainfall pattern due to climate change could result...


Cities seen taking more eco-friendly steps to become climate resilient

When Ahmedabad became the first city in South Asia to develop a heat action plan in 2013, the initiative snowballed into a national effort involving 30 other cities. Several of them also appointed a resilience officer for the first...


'Some stresses on biodiversity being downplayed'

The panel discussion on climate imperatives, moderated by Mint's energy editor Utpal Bhaskar, included J. Srinivasan, distinguished scientist, Divecha Centre for Climate Change...


There is an opportunity for Delhi and Beijing to work together on climate agenda, says ICRIER's Kathuria

While climate change and environment, and urbanization are focus areas in the economic policy making in India...


India can become powerhouse for clean tech: Danfoss' Ravichandran Purushothaman

Climate change presents a great opportunity for India that, coupled with 'Make in India', can help the country become a global powerhouse for clean technologies...

The above content has not been created by any Mint journalist or editorial teams