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Role of Legal Metrology in Food Industry

Role of Legal Metrology in Food Industry

In recent years, India has been witnessing some drastic changes and shifts in the legal system of the country. The Government of India is working day and night to implement new laws as well as reform the existing laws in the country to safeguard the interests of the citizens of the country and upgrade the status of the nation globally. This article is specifically written to highlight the concept and role of legal metrology in the food industry, to ascertain what legal metrology is for food products, and how it plays such an important role in the day-to-day lives of the people.

Our team of legal metrology consultants at ELT Corporate is one of the leading legal metrology consultancy and registration firms registered in India and has dealt with innumerable legal metrology issues and queries of people located in any corner of the country. We successfully provide efficient consultations and registration services to people at the best economical and affordable pricing, keeping in mind that we provide the best legal metrology services to each one of you!

Department of Legal Metrology

  • The legal metrology department and organizations formed by the Government of India help in ensuring and regulating the weights and measures in the country. They play a significant role in ensuring the safeguarding of the interests of the consumers.
  •  They also ensure that the goods and food products (whether in sealed or lost condition) are sold and purchased in the right quantity and capacity as mentioned and claimed.
  •  The Department of Legal Metrology heads the Department of Legal Metrology, established under the Ministry of Consumer Affairs.
  •  The department has the accuracy of weighing and measuring products in the country and successfully and smoothly regulates interstate, intrastate, and international trade.

Legal Metrology and the Food Industry

  • The main objective of Legal metrology is to bring a uniform standardized accuracy and uniformity in weights and measures in India across all the products.
  •   Weights and measures play an intricate role in food products as well. Therefore, the provisions, rules, and regulations of legal metrology apply to food products as well.
  •  The Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, were established to regulate pre-packaged commodities in India.
  •  Under the rules mentioned above, every manufacturer, packer, or importer is required to comply with mandatory labelling requirements such as net quantity, date and Year of manufacture, place of origin, Maximum retail price, Name and Address of the manufacturer or packer, etc.
  •  Thus, in 2017, certain amendments were made to ease business operations and ensure the smooth conduct of trade and commerce, resulting in harmonizing the package labelling provisions of legal metrology with the Food Safety & Standard Regulations (FSSR), 2017, concerning food products in the country.

Essential Provisions of Package Labelling Rules for Food Products

The provisions and rules under legal metrology for labelling food products can be discussed as given below.

  • Name of the manufacturer or packer
  •  Address or short Address of the manufacturer or packer
  •  Principal Display Panel
  •  Declarations on the commodity or the package
  •  Month and Year of manufacturer
  •  Best before or expiry date
  •  Net Quantity
  •  Maximum Retail Price
  •  Common or generic Name
  •  Dimensions (if any)

Name of the Manufacturer, Packer, or Importer

  • Manufacturer means a person who makes or produces that product or commodity and includes a person, firm, or company. Whereas, packer means someone who packs that manufactured product before selling or distributing it for public use.
  • The Name and Address of the manufacturer, importer, or packer, as the case may be if the manufacturer, importer, or packer is different from each other for the respective product. Such a name should be written on the respective package before selling or distributing the same.

Address or Short Address of the Manufacturer or Packer

  • The commodity or the package should contain the Address of the manufacturer, where and by whom the product has been manufactured. In the case of the packer, the Address of the packer should also be displayed on the package.
  • The Address should contain the location of the manufacturing premises, the city and state where such premises are established, and the postal index number (PIN) code of the same.

Net Quantity

  • In simple words, net quantity means the total weight, numbers, capacity, or volume of the commodities present in the package, excluding the extra packaging weight.
  • The net quantity displayed by the manufacturer or packer should be accurate in weight and measurement, as the price of that particular commodity will vary according to the quantity of the respective product.
  • Only the S.I. system, which is a standard International System of Units, must be used to determine the net quantity of the product and display it on the commodity.

Units of Net Quantity:

  1. For Solid, semi-solid, viscous, or a mixture of solid and liquid

– Term of Unit = Mass

– Unit of weight, of :

  • Quantity
  •  Quantity >1kg = Kilogram (kg)
  •  Quantity = 1kg = Then, Gram (g) OR Kilogram (kg)
  1. For Liquid or is solid by cubic measure

– Term of Unit = Volume

– Unit of weight, of :

  • Quantity
  •  Quantity >1 L = Litre (L)
  •  Quantity = 1 L = Then, Litre (L) OR Millilitre (ml)
  1. The date on the commodity or the manufacture

• Month and Year of manufacture or packing-Such dates can be written in words or numbers.

• Best Before or Expiry Date-Such dates can also be written in words or numbers.

  1. Principal Display Panel

• The Principal Display Panel is the part of the container or package containing the commodity where all the relevant descriptions about the commodity inside are displayed outside for the consumer to understand its nature, use, and every other detail related to that product.

• Such Principal Display Panel can be in English or Devanagari Script, i.e., Hindi.

• In the case of transparent packaging, such display panels can be avoided depending on the commodity inside.

• Dimensions of the Principal Display Panel vary from product to product depending on their area and sizes.

Dimensions can be referred like

QuantityHeight ( in mm)
In Weight/VolumeIn length/area, numberNormalWhen blown, molded, perforated, embossed, formed, etc.
Up to 200gUp to 100 cm212
Above 200g/ml and up to 500g/mlAbove 100 cm 2 and up to 500 cm224
Above 500g/mlAbove 500 cm2 and up to 2500 cm246
Above 2500 cm268

Conclusion – Role of Legal Metrology in Food Industry

Through this article, intending to display the relationship between the provisions of legal metrology rules and the food industry in India, our main objective was to convey how relevant legal metrology is in our daily lives and what importance it has in the food products that we consume daily. We at ELT Corporate are always more than happy to create such awareness through its blogs, seminars, and workshops for people all over the country with respect to legal metrology laws in India!

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