Since the coffee products available in the market violate the FSSR provisions and are either depicting Coffee and Chicory mixture as Pure Coffee or are not declaring percentage content of coffee and chicory separately in the mixtures, the FSSAI has had to send out the guidelines.
Chicory blend coffee is also economical when compared to 100 percent coffee. 100 percent single estate coffee beans are expensive, hence in many parts of the world coffee is blend with chicory to make it more economical. The fact that chicory blend coffee has lesser caffeine when compared to 100 percent coffee makes it even more popular.
The consumption of Coffee and Chicory Mixture based products has grown, and several brands are available in the market. The chicory root is dried, ground, and roasted to a rich brown color that resembles coffee beans’ color. It is often used as a caffeine-free beverage on its own or as a mixture with ground-roasted coffee because it enhances the taste, aroma and makes coffee mellow. Another reason that chicory is added to coffee is that it is cheaper while it has all the characteristics of coffee. Also, it reduces the caffeine intake when mixed with coffee, and being highly soluble, it blends well with it.
The FSS (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations 2011 outline the standards for Coffee and Coffee-Chicory mixtures. According to the regulation, coffee content in the Coffee-Chicory mixture shall not be less than 51 percent by mass, and every package contains a mixture of coffee and chicory. Also, the percentage content of Coffee and Chicory has to be declared on its label in compliance with the FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulation 2011.
The regulation also states that pre-packaged food shall not be described or presented on any label or in any labelling manner that is false, misleading, or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character in any respect.
The FSS (Advertising and Claims) Regulations, 2018 stipulates that the term “pure” shall only be used to describe a single ingredient food to which nothing has been added.
It is essential to ensure necessary compliance of the FSSR provisions for all such products and take appropriate regulatory action against the FBOs for violating the FSS regulations w.r.t. standards of coffee and coffee-chicory mixture.
Interested entities may see: https://fssai.gov.in/upload/advisories/2021/11/6195ef50cb7b3Letter_Compliance_Coffee_Chicory_18_11_2021.pdf