FSSAI Food License Startup

Permission and License Required for Chocolate Business

Chocolate Business

Food safety is a major concern for all countries across the globe. To maintain food safety and quality standards, it is imperative to make a cohesive arrangement for increasing people’s knowledge of food safety. It is essential to provide quality, safe and wholesome food products to the consumers for consumption.

In this regard, the statutory authorities are taking stringent measures to protect the rights of the end consumers. Also, the authorities are focusing on enhancing food safety standards and regulations to minimize food safety risks. These regulations ensure the availability of wholesome, quality, and safe food for consumption. As an FBO you need to obtain FSSAI License before starting a chocolate business in India.

Future Outlook for Chocolate Business in India

Chocolate is one of the most favourite food products across the globe. When walking in confectionery stores, you can find an exhaustive range of different chocolates and chocolate products. In the current time, there is a huge demand for chocolate in the food industry. Because of the increasing demand, there are possibilities that the quality of the product can be compromised. Chocolate is a food product that is normally consumed by children and therefore, safety measures are compulsory.

Before the chocolate and chocolate products are available for sale on the market, it is imperative to keep a check on the nutritional contents and additives present in the chocolate products. The product must be approved and have the right composition of the ingredients as per the FSSAI regulations.

In India, FSSAI is the ultimate authority that regulates the food industry in India. The government of India has an authorized agency, FSSAI or the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, to ensure the quality of food available for human consumption. FSSAI is governed by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, and ensures the availability of quality food for consumption as per scientific standards. If you are selling or trading chocolate in India then it’s mandatory to at least obtain FSSAI Registration if your turnover is less than 12 lac.

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New Quality Standards for Chocolate Business

On 15th May 2017, The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI[1]) has proposed a new quality standard norms for the license of chocolate business. In India, the chocolate market is growing at an alarming rate as more people picking up the habit of gifting chocolates. FSSAI (Food Safety and Standard Authority of India) has asked the chocolate industry to abide by the new set of quality norms to ensure that the best quality products are available for the consumers. 

 At present, there are only a few players that dominate the chocolate industry in India. The Indian chocolate market is expected to grow at a much faster rate and the regulator facilitates the entry of importers. Also, the new standards will come into effect on 1st January 2018, which gives the Indian chocolate industry players some time to enhance their quality standards and prepare for competition from importers.

Revised Standards for Chocolate Business

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has revised the standards for a license for chocolate business and introduced two chocolate categories: praline and couverture under the standard product category. These amendments will be referred to the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Fourth Amendment Regulations, 2017.
  • The new standards will be applicable to 10 types of chocolates on the basis of the amount and types of cocoa and other substances used in the products. They are milk chocolate, plain covering chocolate, milk covering chocolate, white chocolate, blended chocolate, plain chocolate, composite chocolate, praline, and coverture.
  • FSSAI has revised the standards for the use of vegetable fat in chocolates. The use of vegetable fats was not permitted in chocolates other than cocoa butter as an exception. Now the authority has permitted the use of vegetable fats, besides cocoa butter in chocolates in keeping with the international practices and CODEX. The limit of the vegetable fat as per the standards must not exceed the limit of 5% in the finished product. Also, the FBOs need to prescribe to the source of the vegetable fat for use in the chocolates as is specified in the regulation.
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Labelling Requirements for Vegetable Fats

The Food Safety and Standard Authority of India has specified that the chocolate product label declaration must mention the quantity of vegetable fat used in the chocolate. If the chocolates contain vegetable fats other than cocoa butter, then the label must carry the following label declaration in bold:


Standards for Vegetable Fats

The vegetable fat in chocolate can be used singly or in blends and must conform to:

  • The vegetable fats used must be non-lauric vegetable fats, that are rich in symmetrical monounsaturated triglycerides of the type POP (palmitic acid -oleic acid- palmitic acid), StOSt (stearic acid -oleic acid- stearic acid)and POSt (palmitic acid -oleic acid stearic acid)
  • Vegetable fat must be miscible with the cocoa butter in any proportion and must be compatible with its physical properties like crystallization temperature, melting point, need for tempering phase, melting rate, etc.
  • Vegetable fats derived by the process of refining or fractionation that excludes the enzymatic modification of the triglyceride structure and in conformity with the above standards.

Some of the vegetable fats that are obtained from plants are permitted for the use of cocoa butter equivalents are mentioned below:

  • Mango kernel (Mangiferaindica)
  • Palm oil (Elaeisguineensis and Elaeisolifera)
  • Dhupa Fat (Vateriaindica)
  • Sal (Shorea robusta)
  • Kokum gurgi (Garcinia indica)
  • Phulwara fat (Madhucabutyracea)
  • Mahua Oil (Bassialatifolia or B. long folio)
  • Dharma be fat (Garcinia cambogia)

According to the regulations declared by the FSSAI, the chocolate products may contain permitted artificial sweetener and food additives. Also, the different types of chocolate products may include the following substances if required:

  • Spices and condiments
  • Edible Salts
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Permitted stabilizing and emulsifying agents
  • Permitted sequestering and buffering agents
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Permissions and licenses required

In case you are planning to start a chocolate business then do get the following licenses and permits:

planning to start a chocolate business
  • Company Registration

In India chocolate business can be established as LLP or as sole proprietorship. In case of Private limited company registration, then you will get legal existence with access to several funding sources.

  • FSSAI License

No matter which food product you are dealing with, getting FSSAI license is a must. The type of license depends upon your annual turnover, size and nature of business. FSSAI basic registration is required for business with an annual turnover of not more than 12 lakh rupees, in case of state license, annual turnover required is between 12 to 20 crores and for central FSSAI license annual turnover requirement is in excess of Rs. 20 crores.

  • Trademark Registration

If you want safeguard your brand name of chocolate business, then trademark registration is recommended.

  • Health trade license

Food business operators should get a health trade license. It validates that FBO is meeting all safety and hygiene norms.

  • GST number

When you are providing taxable service to your customers, then GST number is required.

  • Import Export Code

You can enhance your business by obtaining Import export code and take your business global.

  • Trade License

One requires applying for trade license before initiating the business of Chocolate business.


With the new standards set for the chocolates, it has become imperative for the chocolate manufacturers to review their product thoroughly. Also, to ensure they conform to the new standards as specified by FSSAI, before introducing their product in the market.

Read our article:How can a food dealer obtain FSSAI License?

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