India Focus: Plant-based dairy naming controversy, GM food debate, Industry 5.0 and more feature in our round-up

India Focus: Plant-based dairy naming controversy, GM food debate, Industry 5.0 and more feature in our round-up


‘Sold deceptively’: Indian regulator warns against plant-based ghee, butter products carrying ‘dairy terms’

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has told food bosses to check if they sell ‘vegan ghee’ or ‘vegan butter’ products, calling branding that contains dairy terminology ‘misleading’.

According to the country’s food regulations, the terms ‘ghee’, ‘butter’ and other dairy terms cannot be used to market some vegan foods. Manufacturers of plant-based alternatives also need to get specific approval from the food authority to use a vegan food claim or place the vegan logo on pack.

GM food in India: Debate reignited after food security and trade concerns drive government to assess rules

The Indian government appears to be softening its stance as ‘no-GMO’ country in light of ongoing food security and trade disputes – sparking fresh debate in the country.

India has traditionally been a ‘no-GMO’ country particularly when it comes to the food sector, with this being reinforced in 2021 with the announcement of a long list of foods requiring GM-Free certificates, covering many major food commodities from rice to beans to fruits and vegetables and more.

Food and Industry 5.0: Modernisation of facilities and closing the digital divide needed for food security benefits

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) from Industry 5.0 have significant potential to improve food security and mitigate the vulnerability of the food system, providing that production processes can be modified and the digital divide between countries closed, say experts from the KPR Institute of Engineering and Technology in India.

An expanding global population’s greater demand for food supply is likely to compound the lack of food security with poor food quality, food wastage, and sub-par monitoring and testing throughout the food supply chain. A more sustainable, measurable and digitally visible food system is therefore needed to increase and maintain food security.

For this purpose, ICTs can be used to support collaboration, prevent fraud, and offer remote real-time monitoring. ICT tools such as the have transformed nearly every industry and “currently represent one of the most vivid transformation processes in global agriculture and food systems”.

Ayurvedic approach: Indian firm seeks to popularise cordyceps nutraceuticals with practitioners

A Bangalore-based company specialising in the cultivation and development of nutraceuticals made of cordyceps is hoping to popularise the use of the medicinal mushrooms within India’s Ayurveda practitioners.

Since 2020, Mallipathra Nutraceutical has been selling FSSAI-certified nutraceuticals that come in the form of capsules and powder both online and offline.

Perfect Day doubles production capacity via SBL acquisition, gets green light for animal-free dairy in India, teases new partnership

Precision fermentation specialist Perfect Day has completed its acquisition of Indian firm Sterling Biotech Limited (SBL) – which will double its production capability in the near-term – and secured the green light from the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India to market its animal-free dairy proteins in India.

SBL – which makes gelatin, dicalcium phosphate, and pharmaceutical ingredients including cholesterol-lowering drugs – has “precision fermentation capabilities with existing fermenters that will allow the company to expand its precision fermentation capabilities in the months ahead while continuing to service existing SBL customers in both the pharma and protein sectors,”​ according to Perfect Day co-founder Ryan Pandya, who said he plans to retain all of SBL’s employees.

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