Growing food safety awareness in India

Henkel Adhesives’ engagement with the industry

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Henkel Adhesives flexible packaging academy building in Navi Mumbai

“We have been conducting workshops in various cities, both metro and non-metro. We have tried to create more awareness in smaller cities and among smaller brands about food safety issues. In addition to efforts put in by stakeholders like us, modern technology has also played a very vital role in spreading the awareness,” says Jayachandran Nair, business manager – flexible packaging adhesive, Henkel Adhesives Technologies India.

The road shows will continue this year as well and not only will these messages be reinforced but Henkel will take the food safety message to the next level, such as imparting information about Primary Aromatic Amine (PAA), which is a group of chemical substances from the wider group of amines. PAA specifically carries an aromatic residue. They are used industrially, for instance, to manufacture azo dyes and certain polymers. Certain PAA present a toxicological concern as they have been identified as carcinogenic. Because of this specific hazard, PAA stand out among the non-intentionally added substances (NIAS) found in flexible packaging. This means that special attention must be paid to ensure that they do not migrate into food at detectable levels.

A workshop session in progress

For this year, Henkel has planned road shows in cities like Chennai, Indore and Ludhiana. It has also planned to connect customers and stakeholders with experts not only physically but also digitally. Throughout the year, Henkel will organize webinars where global experts from the flexible packaging industry will talk on various issues related to food safety.

On the regulation front in India, too, things have improved with FSSAI consolidating the plethora of archaic laws that previously existed. Nair believes FSSAI now has to set up labs, impart knowledge and put laws into practice. He adds that the industry has finally come to terms with the fact that laws will get stricter. “Our customers now ask us for food safety statement. There is almost 100% increase in request for food safety statement in the last couple years,” Nair informs.