Snip the Rumours, IICMA & FDICMAI requests FSSAI

April 12, 2019

One will often find that these reports usually creates an unwholesome aura stating that ice cream is good for health and degrading frozen dessert by announcing the presence of trans fat in it. Some false statements further go to allege that it is unhealthy to consume frozen dessert.

Last year one such misinterpreted news about Frozen Dessert where HUL Kwality Walls lost the case to AMUL, is a classic example. A few days, back similar news was circulated again by one of the renowned media houses- Bhaskar Group in supporting newspaper of Dainik Bhaskar in Bhopal. The news echoed the same waves that “ice cream is good for health and frozen dessert is harmful to health because it contains trans fat”.

According to Firoz H. Naqvi, Director of Frozen Dessert Ice cream Manufacturing Association of India (FDICMA), “This piece of information is absolutely wrong and unethical. Practically and technically if we see there is no trans fat present in a frozen dessert. It is just not possible to have trans fat while manufacturing of frozen dessert nor it is removed or extracted after the manufacturing process. You CANNOT make frozen dessert by adding trans fat into it”.

“The news further adds that frozen dessert is made up of vegetable oil and ice cream is made up of milk. And that is why frozen dessert is bad for health, it can lead to sore throat, cardio-vascular diseases and can have a severe effect on a person’s health and also frozen dessert uses artificial sweeteners. These are a few things mentioned in Dainik Bhaskar article recently published in the 1st week of April 2019, which has been misquoted severely. Basically, ice cream and frozen desserts both are made up of milk powder with the same grade, same amount, same quality and the same go for colours , flavours , sugar, and other ingredients.  All the materials used in the manufacturing of ice cream and frozen dessert are absolutely the same. Many stories knitted around the subject are misleading the consumers and market on the whole”.

“Technically speaking, while making ice cream it needs smoothening and to smoothen, it is done by milk fat.  Thus milkfat is used ice cream whereas in frozen dessert vegetable oil fat is used for the smoothening purpose. There is just one different ingredient in ice cream and frozen dessert and that is the earlier one has milkfat and later one contains vegetable oil fat. The fat content in ice cream and frozen dessert should range between 2.5% to 10%. There are 3 categories in ice cream and frozen dessert alike i.e. low fat, medium fat, and high fat. These categories are in both – in ice cream and in frozen dessert and both are made by the same process, same technology, same machines with the only difference of dairy fat and vegetable oil fat”, emphasized Naqvi.

Naqvi further clarified that ice cream manufactured with dairy fat is made for those who want to consume milk fat. Frozen dessert is made for consumers who want to consume a lighter version of fats or they refrain to consume milk fat. Sometimes people avoid certain milk products example; body-builders who say no to butter and cream. Some have allergies towards dairy products so they can enjoy frozen dessert. Frozen desserts are mostly cheaper than ice cream. In the wake of this discrepancy, there is a constant rivalry between both sections. Most of the ice cream manufacturers make both the products and many frozen dessert manufacturers also make both the categories. Few ice cream makers make only ice cream and very few of the manufacturers focus only on making frozen dessert exclusively.

One of the sections spreads rumours about the other one which ethically is not right. They also alleged that along with trans fat, frozen dessert manufacturers use artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweetener again is a very different product which is approved by FSSAI. Many of the ice cream and frozen dessert manufacturers want to make a sugar-free product for selected consumers so they use artificial sweeteners. The fact remains that artificial sweeteners are more expensive than sugar. By adding artificial sweeteners it adds more value into ice cream and frozen dessert making them all the more costly. It is made for those who want to consume sugar-free products.

Last week, Indian Ice Cream Manufacturers Association of India (IICMA) & FDICMA both wrote an epistle to FSSAI about the rumour which was published in supporting print media of Bhaskar Group. They also wrote a letter to Dainik Bhaskar Group Chairman, Chief Editor and in the meantime, the same story was published by Times of India creating confusion among the consumers.

A delegation comprising of  IICMA &FDICMA approached New Delhi for a meet with Mr. Pawan Kumar Agarwal, CEO FSSAI and requested the Food Safety Regulator to release an advisory to media for the correction in the report stating that media must act more responsibly for releasing and publishing unconfirmed information. The associations expect that with the intervention of FSSAI, this issue will not be repeated in the future as such rumours not only hamper the economic growth but also tarnish the names of the manufacturers.

In the meantime, Times of India was informed about this matter and immediately TOI’s Chief Editor corrected this information and published it right away on their news portal and it is now widely available on their circulation.

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