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The Adherence of Packaged Food Products in Hyderabad, India with Nutritional Labelling Guidelines


Dunford, Elizabeth K.; Guggilla, Rama K.; Ratneswaran, Anenta; Webster, Jacqueline L.; Maulik, Pallab K.; & Neal, Bruce C. (2015). The Adherence of Packaged Food Products in Hyderabad, India with Nutritional Labelling Guidelines. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 24(3), 540-545.


BACKGROUND: India is experiencing a nutrition transition with the consumption of processed foods rapidly increasing. Nutrition labels are essential if consumers are to understand the healthiness of these products. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India have recently introduced regulation defining national nutrition labelling requirements and Codex Alimentarius recommends a global standard.
OBJECTIVES: To quantify the adherence of the declared nutrients on Indian packaged foods with national and global requirements.
METHODS: The presence or absence of data for seven required nutrients was recorded for all food products available for sale. Branches of three major retail chains and three smaller stores in Hyderabad, India between October and November, 2010 were surveyed.
RESULTS: Data were collected for 4166 packaged products that fell into 14 different food groups. 52% of products displayed nutrient information on energy, protein, carbohydrate, sugar and total fat, meeting the minimum requirements of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India. Only 27% met the minimum criteria defined by Codex which also requires the reporting of saturated fat and sodium. There was significant variation in compliance for leading brands, country of manufacture and food group (p<0.01 for all).
CONCLUSIONS: The majority of Indian packaged foods do not meet national and international nutrient labelling guidelines. With the Indian population likely to consume much more packaged food over coming years full and effective food labelling will be essential. The failure of Indian legislation to require labelling of sodium and saturated fat may warrant review.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition


Dunford, Elizabeth K.
Guggilla, Rama K.
Ratneswaran, Anenta
Webster, Jacqueline L.
Maulik, Pallab K.
Neal, Bruce C.