Delhi HC orders ‘full disclosure’ of food ingredients; expert lists common edibles that may not be entirely vegetarian – The Indian Express

December 16, 2021 by No Comments

In what is being seen to be a landmark move, the Delhi High Court (Delhi HC) has directed the food safety regulator FSSAI to ensure all food business operators make full disclosures on all that goes into the making of any food article — “not only by their code names but also by disclosing as to whether they originate from plant, or animal source, or whether they are manufactured in a laboratory, irrespective of their percentage in the food article”.

This is as per the 2.2.2(4) of FSSAI’s Packaging and Labelling Regulations, 2011, which says, “the use of any ingredient — in whatever measure or percentage, which is sourced from animals, would render the food article as non-vegetarian,” the court remarked.

As of now, every vegetarian food is required to carry a symbol and colour code — a green colour filled dot inside a square box with green outline whereas every non-vegetarian food consisting of a brown colour dot inside a square box with brown outline. The recently launched vegan symbol has a ‘V’ inscribed in the middle of a square box with a small plant on top of it and vegan written at the bottom.

Clarifying that there is no standard symbol for denoting eggs, Sakina Diwan, dietician, Bhatia Hospital said, “As per the present specifications, there is a common misconception that the brown dot denotes egg products and that meat-products are distinguished by a red dot. But there is, in fact, no such provision in the approved standard.”

She also listed a few products that may have traces of animal source in them even though they claim to be vegetarian. “If you happen to come across such products you can actually sue them and get compensation, if you have proof,” she opined.


As per Diwan, some varieties of cheese contain an enzyme called rennet, that is derived from gastrointestinal tract of animals.


Many brands of ice cream contain capric acid, a fatty acid that’s obtained from animal fats. Check the label!

Oils and juices

Oils and juices that contain omega-3 acids, advertised to be good for your heart are derived from fish oil. Also, some juices claim to have vitamin D which is derived from lanolin, obtained from sheep, she said.

Chewing gums

According to Diwan, chewing gums contain gelatin. “But we hardly know that they are not appropriate for pure-vegetarians. The gelatin used in them comes from the skin, tendons, ligaments and bones of pigs and cows,” she said.


The colourful confectionery …….



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