By Bhaskara Sharma 7 Minutes Read


Food[1] is something that animals and people eat, or something that plants absorb, to keep them alive. Essential aspects of the term food[2] are –

  • The material consists mostly of protein, carbohydrates and fat, that are used by the body of an organism. Inorganic substances that are absorbed by the plants in the form of gases or water solutions.Nutriment in solid form.Something that nourishes, sustains, or supplies. 


According to Britannic[3] food[4] is a substance consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, fat, and other nutrients that are used by the body of an organism to sustain growth and carry out vital processes and to furnish energy. The absorption and utilization of food by the body is fundamental to nutrition and is facilitated by digestion. Plants, which convert solar energy to food by photosynthesis, are the primary food source. Animals that feed on plants often serve as sources of food for other animals. 


As the food is essential for survival, everyone who requires food must get access. To regulate the Food industry in India several laws[5] were laid down that govern aspects like –

  • Sanitation Licensing Necessary permits 

These are the basic requirements to start up and run a food business. The legislation[6] that initially dealt with food safety in India was the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954. Later when the new legislation FSSA came and it repealed the following laws –

  • The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954The Fruit Products Order, 1955The Meat Food Products Order, 1973The Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947The Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation) Order, 1998The Solvent Extracted Oil, De oiled Meal, and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967The Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992Essential Commodities Act, 1955 (in context to food)

In India, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is the apex food regulatory body[7]. It gains its power and functions under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. The main function of FSSAI is to implement and enforce food regulations as prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The FSS Act is an Act of Parliament, popularly known as the Food Act. 

Previous to the FSS Act there were several food legislations. All these have been consolidated into a homogenous whole in the FSS Act. The regulations of the FSS Act became effective in 2011 with FSSAI as its regulatory body. Though the Act continues to evolve currently it needs to be further harmonized with standards of international agencies for global parity.

The FSSA provides for penalties in case any non-compliance occurs. Generally, non-compliance with various provisions of the FSSA may attract a penalty of up to Rs. 2 lac. 

However, under Section 63, it provides that if any person or food business operator except the persons exempted from licensing under sub-section (2) of Section 31 of FSSA, himself or by any person on his behalf who is required to obtain a license – 

  • Manufacturers, orSells, orStores, orDistributes, orImports 

any article of food without a license shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and also with a fine which may extend to Rs. 5 lac.

Food products also facilitate foreign direct Investment. Except for items reserved for micro, small and medium enterprises, where FDI is permissible under automatic route up to 24%, Food products are processed under 100% automatic route, however, the FDI is subjected to applicable laws/regulations/securities and other conditions.

Some historic usage

  • In 1915 as a Food chain. In 1864 as Food poisoning. In 1973 as a Food processor in the kitchen appliance sense.In 1962 as a Food stamp.

Some usage in a sentence

  • Walmart was closed, so we couldn’t buy any food.Our fridge has a new technology that keeps all the food items at a constant temperature.We are having a large amount of food stocked to undergo the lockdown due to the outbreak of COVID-19.Ben will bring some food along for the picnic.Most of the junk food items are high in salt, sugar, and fat.


Originated[8] from Middle English words foode and fode. From Old English word foda which means food, nourishment, fuel, also figurative, from Proto Germanic word fodon. Attaching roots also from Swedish word foda, Danish word fode, Gothic word fodeins. In Germanic fod is food. From PIE/pat, meaning to feed.


[2] “Food.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jun. 2020.







Bhaskara Sharma

Pursuing BA-LLB from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad. I find peace in wandering through the new roads and capturing those moments through my camera. To keep myself creative I do content creation in the form of pictures and videos (photography and cinematography), I find pleasure in meeting and finding the best in people. Apart from my work, I also take great pleasure in listening to music, playing Lawn Tennis and enjoying travelling to different countries.

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