Proprietary food is the food article that hasn’t been standardized under the regulations but does not include any novel food, special foods for dietary use, foods for medicinal purposes, functional foods, nutraceuticals, health supplements. Therefore when any food package is labeled as Proprietary Food, one can assume that the ingredients are not the standard additives or colored as per the regulations of the FSSAI License Authority. The formulation belongs to the company which has produced this product. It will also contain non-standardized food additives, colors, and ingredients that are not harmful for human consumption.

FSSAI regulations have categorized food and beverage products into two major classifications:

  • Standardized Food
  • Non-standardized foods i.e. (Proprietary Foods)

Standardized Food and Proprietary Food

BasisStandardized food Proprietory food 
Definition Standardized food products are those which are defined under regulations. A food business operator who has a license can manufacture. But the manufacturer can only sell these food products as long as he complies with the standards for the specific product given in the act and rules.Proprietary Foods are those which are not standardized under regulations and may contain primary ingredients and some generic additives. The main product for these foods is milk or milk products, from carbohydrates, with or without a basis of milk, from meat, fish, or eggs, from vegetables, fruits, or nuts. As well as sometimes from fatty substances also.
ExamplesFor example, fruit jam, fruit drinks, sauces, biscuits, and carbonated water, etc.For example, energy drinks and custard powder which contain starch, dextrose, flavor, and color.

Related: Rules for Display Boards for the Street Food Vendors

Regulatory Guidelines

  • The ingredients for these proprietary food items are standardized or permitted for use in the preparation of other standardized food under these Regulations, except the ingredients which may be specified by the Authority from time to time. Provided that these kinds of food items may also contain vitamins and minerals in quantities not exceeding one RDA of the respective micronutrients.
  • The additives for these foods shall be added at such levels, as specified for the category or sub-category under Appendix A of these regulations, to which the food belongs. Such a category or sub-category shall be clearly mentioned on the label along with the generic name, nature, and composition of the proprietary food.
  • These food items shall comply with the microbiological requirements such as specified in Appendix B of these regulations. These proprietary food items shall not contain any pathogenic micro-organism at a level that may render the food product unsafe.
  • These FBOs shall also comply with the provisions, as applicable, of all Regulations made under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. In addition, no health claims shall be made in respect of proprietary food either on the product label or otherwise.
  • The FBOs are fully responsible for the safety of proprietary food with respect to human consumption.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which additives can be used in the case of proprietary food items?
What steps have FSSAI taken to ease the process of business?
Are there any changes in the licensing requirement?
What are the 2 major classifications of food and beverage products?
When can the additives in the proprietary food be used?
What is the major change that was brought in the guidelines?
How can the FBOs use the intermediate products by another industry and how it can be governed under this regulation?
What are the labeling provisions?
What is the impact of these regulations on the industry?
What are the documents required for the licenses?