FSSAI Current Affairs - 2019
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Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) has notified food safety standards for honey and its products in bid to curb adulteration. These standards will be applicable to both domestic manufacturers and importers. It will help farmers to fetch better prices for their products.
Key Features of new standards
It defines honey as natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from nectar of blossoms or from secretions of plants, which honey bees collect, transform and store in honeycombs for ripening. Honey products should comply with 18 parameters like that of sucrose content, glucose ratio, pollen count, foreign oligosaccharides etc,
These products should contain fixed maximum 5% limit for sucrose, 10% for carviacallosa and honeydew honey. The moisture percentage should be maximum 20% and pollen count should be 25,000 per gram. If product is sold as honey then food ingredient, including food additives should not be added to it.
Honey should not be heated or processed to such extent that its essential composition is changed and its quality is impaired. Honey can be labelled according to floral or plant source, if it comes from any particular source and has organoleptic, physicochemical and microscopic properties corresponding with torigin.
In case of ‘Monofloral Honey’, minimum pollen content of plant species concerned should not be less than 45% of total pollen content. In case of ‘Multi Floral Honey’, pollen content of any of plant species should not exceed 45% of total pollen content.
About 90,000 tonnes of honey of all varieties is produced annually in the country. There are about 30 lakh honey bee colonies and five lakh people are engaged in the business. Government considers promoting farmers to venture into beekeeping business as key component to increase their income. Union Government is promoting honey production through mission for integrated development of horticulture (MIDH). It has established National Bee Board for implementing various activities for development of scientific beekeeping under MIDH.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has constituted three-member committee to look into draft food labelling and display regulations-Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2018. The committee will be headed by B Sesikeran, former director of National Institute of Nutrition (NIN)and comprises of current NIN director Hemalatha and AIIMS’ endocrinologist Nikhil Tandon.
FSSAI had released draft Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations 2018 in April 2018. It had proposed mandatory red-label marking on such packaged food products which are high in fat, sugar and salt contents. The front-of-the-pack red label mark was aimed to make consumers more aware about healthy and unhealthy food products. But, Union Health Ministry had put on hold on the draft regulations, after industry stakeholders had expressed concerns, citing that it may have an adverse impact on evolving packaged food industry. So address their concerns, FSSAI has decided to set up committee of experts with health and nutrition background to look into t draft regulations.
India can learn from best practices from the other countries such as Denmark, Norway and Singapore on labelling and trans-fat regulations. Consultation process started by FSSAI is seen as an attempt to begin dialogue among stakeholders on proposed draft labelling regulations. Moreover, recently, several companies had pledged to FSSAI’s Eat Right Movement and have made voluntary commitments to reduce salt, sugar and fat in their products. FSSAI in future is likely to push more and more companies to make similar voluntary commitments.