Home » FSS ACT » FSSAI compiles parameters for testing of food products in all categories

FSSAI compiles parameters for testing of food products in all categories

FSSAI compiles parameters for testing of food products in all categories

FSSAI compiles parameters for testing of food products in all categories

In its order dated 18 April 2016 the FSSAI has compiled a list of parameters for testing of foods which have been taken from the regulations. Though the FSSAI has consolidated the parameter it mentions that the parameters are dynamic and that they will be updated regularly based on the new regulations being notified. All the test methods described in the testing manuals will be used only for analyzing samples of food articles.

The comprehensive list includes each and every food item that belongs to the following categories

  • Dairy products and analogues
  • Fats, Oils and Fat Emulsions
  • Fruits and Vegetable products
  • Cereals and Cereal products
  • Meat and Meat products
  • Fish and Fish products
  • Sweets and Confectionery
  • Sweetening Agents Including Honey
  • Beverages (Other than Dairy and fruits & Vegetables)
  • Salt, Spices, Condiments and Related Products
  • Other Food Products and Ingredients

There are testing parameters that are common to all categories of foods and there are other parameters that pertain to only specific categories

Testing parameters in all categories of foods include testing for

  • Added Natural colours tests will include Curcumin, Riboflavin,Chlorophyll,

Beta carotene, Carotene (Natural extract), Annatto extract (Bixin), Beta apo-8 carotenal, Methyl ester of Beta apo-8 carotenoic acid, Canthaxanthin, Caramel colours (Plain), Caramel colours (Ammonium Sulphite process).

  • Synthetic colours testing will be carried for Ponceau 4R, Carmoisine, Erythrosine, Tartrazine, Sunset Yellow FCF, Indigo carmine, Brilliant blue FCF, Fast green FCF
  • For added preservatives testing will be carried out for SO2, Benzoic acid and its sodium and potassium salt, Sorbic Acid, Sodium, Potassium and Calcium sorbates expressed as sorbic acid.
  • Metal Contaminants Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury, Methyl Mercury calculated as the element, Tin, Zinc, Lead, Copper Contaminants, Aflatoxin M1

Other Contaminants

Melamine

  • Pesticides parameters common to all foods Aldrin, dieldrin (the limits apply to aldrin and dieldrin singly or in any combination and are expressed as dieldrin) Chlordane (residue to be measured as cis plus trans chlordane)
  • D.T. (The limits apply to D.D.T., D.D.D. and D.D.E. singly or in any combination. Also a number of other pesticides like Fenitrothion Heptachlor Chlorienvinphos, Hexachlorocycle hexane and its Isomers Chlorpyrifos 2,4D Ethion, Monocrotophos Carbendazim Benomyl etc. 

Besides the pesticides mentioned above each category of foods also has pesticides testing parameters which are specific to it

  1. Testing Parameters specific for Dairy products and similar products

The prescribed general testing parameters for all dairy products prescribes that all milk, dairy or similar products be free from filthy, putrid, rotten, decomposed or diseased animal substance or vegetable substance, any colouring matter or preservatives, worms, weevils or insects.

Testing must be also carried out for presence of the following in milk and milk products.

  • Urea (milk)
  • Added starch (milk, all creams, malai, dahi curd, chenna, various cheeses, all cottage cheese, ice-creams, evaporated milk, processed cheese, sweetened condensed milk, Milk Powder, Infant milk food, infant formula, table butter, Milk fat/ butter oil and anhydrous milk fat/ butter oil, Chakka, Shrikhand, Yoghurt, Whey Powder, acid whey. Edible Casein Products)
  • Cane sugar – milk, cream, cream powder, malai, chenna
  • Detergents – milk,
  • Neutralizers – milk
  • Rancidity (cream powder , ice creams, processed cheese, khoya, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk, milk powder, milk ice lolly, infant formula and milk food, Milk-cereal based complementary food Follow-up formula complementary food, Ghee, Milk fat/ butter oil and anhydrous milk fat/ butter oil, Chakka, Shrikhand, Yoghurt, Whey Powder, acid whey Edible Casein

Products)

  • Mineral oil, vegetable oil (cream powder, malai, milk powder, table butter Milk fat/ butter oil and anhydrous milk fat/ butter oil, Chakka, Shrikhand, Yoghurt, Whey Powder, acid whey, Edible Casein Products)
  • Sucrose and glucose (khoya, evaporated milk)
  • Vegetable oil and fat (table butter, Ghee. Milk fat/ butter oil and anhydrous milk fat/ butter oil, Chakka, Shrikhand, Yoghurt, Whey Powder acid whey Edible Casein Products)
  • Animal body fat (table butter, Ghee, Milk fat/ butter oil and anhydrous milk fat/ butter oil)

In addition for milk there will be

  • Phosphotase Test for all pasteurized products,
  • Antioxidants (BHA, TBHQ)
  • Non Nutritive Sweetener Steviol Glycoside.

Sweetened foods testing

Artificial sweetened condensed milk, sweeteners for ice creams and similar sweetened products milk powder, infant milk food, Infant formula, dry ice cream mix / dried frozen dessert/ confection, milk ice or lolly, milk-cereal based and processed complementary cereal food, follow-up formula complementary food, whey powder, acid whey will be also be tested for

Aspartame

Acesulfame-K

Saccharin

Sucralose

Sorbitol 

Microbiological Parameters

Total Plate Count

Coliform count

E.coli

Salmonella spp.

  1. aureus

Listeria monocytogenes

For Sterilized and UHT Milk and Sterilized Flavoured Milk

Total Plate Count

Aerobic spore count (B. cereus)

Anaerobic spore count (Clostridium perfringes) 

Specific Quality parameters for milk and other milk products is different for the various foods but consists of milk fat, milk solid not fat, milk protein, moisture in dry products, Titrable acidity (as lactic acid), Total ash, Milk fat on dry basis, sugar and lactose content, pH value Total solids Weight / Volume (gms/l) Total fat) Total protein (Nx6.25). Milk protein in milk solids not fat, all the vitamins and minerals in infant foods and formula as is applicable to each category.

  1. Testing Parameters specific to fats, oils fat emulsions

If the oil is obtained by the method of solvent extraction, or if the oil is imported into

India it shall be supplied for human consumption only after refining. All edible oil including vegetable oils, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, and edible fats, margarines, butter, cocoa butter etc. will be tested for the following.

  • Test for mineral oil – all oils
  • Test for Argemone oil -all oils
  • Test for Castor oil – all oils
  • Test for rancidity – all oils
  • Test for animal fat – coca butter all fats and margarine and fat spreads, bakery shortening
  • Semi-Siccative oil test – olive oil, edible fat
  • Cotton seed oil test – olive oil
  • Teaseed oil test – olive oil
  • Sesame seed oil test – olive oil

Addition test for preservatives in this category include

Sorbic Acid, Sodium/ Potassium/ Calcium sorbate expressed as Sorbic acid, Benzoic acid, Sodium/ Potassium/ benzoate expressed as Benzoic acid Gallates (Ethyl, Propyl, Octyl, Dodecyl), individual or mixture thereof 

Some additional tests are

  • Test for antioxidant
  • Refractive Index at 40ºC

Saponification value

  • Iodine value (Wij’s method)
  • Iodine Value
  • Acid value
  • Polenske Value coconut oil
  • Baudouin test for Til oil,
  • Melting point for fats
  • Vanaspati for trans fatty acids, moisture and synthetic vitamin A 

Unsaponifiable matter

Bellier test (Turbidity temperature – Acetic acid method)

Test for Hydrocyanic Acid (Ferric Chloride test) (mustard)

Phosphorus – Soya bean Oil

Flash Point (Pensky Marten Closed Method) for 1) solvent extracted

Oleic acid content 

Quality test parameters for Virgin olive oil, extra virgin olive oil and ordinary virgin olive oil are different as compared to all other oils.

Moisture and volatile matter

Insoluble impurities

Refractive Index at 400C

Saponification value (mg KOH/g oil)

Iodine value (Wij’s method)

Free Fatty Acid expressed as Oleic acid

Unsaponifiable matter

Bellier test

Olive pomace oil test

Refined oil shall conform to the standards of the respective vegetable oil from which it is refined except for Acid value, Moisture

Metal contaminants specific to this category : Trichlorfon (For refined oil), Phenthoate Phorate (sum of Phorate, its oxygen analogue and their sulphoxides and sulphones, expressed as phorate)

  1. Testing Parameters specific for fruits and vegetable products

All processed fruits and vegetable products that are canned tins, bottles or in flexible packs will be physically examination for bulge or damage to pack visible with naked eye. Label declaration of medium and its strength will also be checked. This category includes all fruits and vegetables including curried vegetables, sauces, soups, puree pulp fruit juices, crushes, squashes, syrups, sharbat, fruit jelly, jam, dehydrated fruit, frozen, chutney, vinegar , dry fruit etc.

All fruit and vegetable products wills undergo

  • Test for Antioxidants – BHA – TBHQ
  • Test for Artificial sweeteners (singly)
  1. Aspartame
  2. Acesulphame K
  3. Saccharin Sodium
  4. Sucralose

Quality Parameters

Drained weight

(i) Liquid pack

(ii) Solid Pack

Categories Parameters

Filled (product) capacity of the container for rigid containers

Colour tests will be carried out for vegetables for all vegetables with special attention to

  • Green beans/wax beans
  • Green peas
  • Processed peas

Testing for Microbiological Safety

Total Plate Count

Incubation at 37°C for 10 days & 55°C for 7 days

Yeast and mould count

Flat Sour Organisms

Staphylococcus aureus

Salmonella

Shigella

Clostridium botulinum

E.coli

Vibrio cholerae

Listeria Sp

  1. Testing Parameters specific to Cereals and Cereal products

Physical examination for moulds, living and dead insects, insect fragments and rodent contamination (hair, excreta) visible to the naked eye.

  • Musty odour and rancidity
  • Test for antioxidants (BHA, TBHQ)

Quality Parameters specific to cereals and cereal products

  • Moisture
  • Total ash
  • Ash insoluble in dilute HCl
  • Gluten (on dry weight basis)
  • Alcoholic acidity (with 90 % alcohol) expressed as H2SO4 (on dry weight basis)
  • Naturally occurring Toxic Substances like, Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin A, Deoxynivalenol 

Pesticides list is the longest in this category as it contains pesticides used on all milled food grains and also there is pesticide testing for category parameters. 

  1. Testing Parameters specific to Meat and meat products

All products will be physically examinated for moulds, living and dead insects, insect

fragments and rodent contamination (hair, excreta) visible to the naked eye.

Benzoic acid, Sodium and Potassium benzoate

Potassium bi sulphite

Potassium sulphite

Sodium metabi sulphite

Sodium bi sulphite

Na & K expressed as Sodium Nitrite 

Test for Antioxidants BHA, TBHQ, Ascorbic acid, Sodium Ascorbate or isoascorbate acid/Sodium iso-ascorbate singly or in combination. 

Microbiological Safety

Total Plate Count

  1. coli

Staphylococcus aureus

Categories Parameters

Salmonella

Clostridium perfringes

Clostridium botulinum

Incubation of sealed container at 35 °C for 10 days

Incubation of sealed container at 55 °C for 5 days

Listeria sp

  1. Testing Parameters specific to Fish and Fish products

All products will be physically examined for moulds, living and dead insects, insect

fragments and rodent contamination(hair, excreta) visible to the naked eye

Benzoic acid, Sodium and Potassium benzoate

Potassium bi sulphite

Potassium sulphite

Sodium metabi sulphite

Sodiumbi sulphite

Sorbic acid and its Calcium,Sodium, Potassium Salts (Calculated as sorbic acid)

Test for Antioxidants  BHA , TBHQ

Quality Parameters specific to fish and fish products

  • Total Volatile Base (Nitrogen) Raw
  • Categories Parameters Cooked

Microbiological Safety (Raw)

Total Plate Count

  1. coli

Staphylococcus aureus

Salmonella & Shigella

Vibro cholerae

Vibro parahaemolyticus

(Cooked) Categories Parameters

Total Plate Count

  1. coli

Staphylococcus aureus

Salmonella & Shigella

Vibro cholerae

Vibro parahaemolyticus

Listeria sp

The FSSAI has given a list of 20 antibiotics and other PAS that are prohibited in any unit that is processing sea food including shrimps, prawns or any other variety of fish and fishery products.

  1. Testing Parameters specific to Sweets and Confectionery

Physical examination for moulds, living and dead insects, insect fragments and rodent contamination(hair, excreta) visible to the naked eye

Benzoic acid, Sodium and Potassium benzoate

Sulphur dioxide

Sorbic acid and its Calcium,Sodium, Potassium Salts (Calculated as sorbic acid)

  • Test for Talc
  • Test for Mineral oil

Test for Antioxidants BHA, TBHQ, Tocopherol

Test for Artificial sweeteners (singly)

Aspartame

Acesulphame K

Saccharin Sodium

Sucralose 

Tests for Quality Parameters for sweets and confectionery

  • Ash sulphated (on salt free basis)
  • In case of sugar boiled confectionery where spices are used as centre filling Ash insoluble (in dilute Hydrochloric acid)
  • In case of sugar boiled confectionery where spices are used as centre filling

Milk toffee

(i) Total protein (N x 6.25)

(ii) Fat content

Butter toffee

Fat content

  1. Testing Parameters specific to Sweetening Agents Including Honey

Physical examination for dirt, filth, iron fillings, moulds, living and dead insects, insect fragments and rodent contamination (hair, excreta) visible to the naked eye

  • Test for iron filings

Quality Parameters

Extraneous matter

Moisture (when heated at 105 ± 1° C for 3 hours)

Sucrose

 

  1. Testing Parameters specific to Salt, Spices, Condiments and Related Products

Physical examination for moulds, living and dead insects, insect fragments and rodent contamination(hair, excreta) visible to the naked eye

  • Screlotinia mushrooms

Quality Parameters

  • Extraneous matter organic

(Chaff, stems, straw) and inorganic (Dust, dirt, stones, lumps of earth).

The inorganic extraneous matter shall not exceed 2 % by weight of the

total extraneous matter.

  • Moisture
  • Total ash on dry basis
  • Ash insoluble in dilute HCl on dry basis

Categories Parameters

  • Volatile oil content on dry basis
  • Insect damaged matter
  • Pesticides Inorganic bromide (determined and expressed as total bromide from all sources)

Microbiological Safety Parameters

  • Salmonella
  1. Testing Parameters specific to Beverages (Other than Dairy and fruits & Vegetables)

Physical examination for extraneous matter (living insects , moulds, dead insects, insect fragments and rodent contamination (hair, excreta) visible to the naked eye

  • Extraneous matter
  • It shall be free from off odour, taint and mustiness

Quality Parameters (Expressed on the basis of the material oven-dried at 103±2 °C)

  • Total Ash (m/m)
  • Water Soluble Ash
  • Alkalinity of water soluble ash expressed as KOH (m/m)
  • Acid-insoluble ash (m/m)
  • Water extract (m/m)
  • Crude Fibre (m/m)

Categories Parameters

  • Naturally occurring toxic substances
  • Aflatoxin
  • Agaric acid
  • Hydrocyanic acid
  • Hypericine
  • Saffrole

Pesticides for this category

Dicofol

Ethion (Residues to be determined as ethion and Its oxygen analogueand expressed as ethion)

Quinolphos

Glyphosphate

Fenazaquin

Glufosinate-ammonium

Propargite

  1. Testing Parameters specific to Other Food Products and Ingredients like baking powder, catechu, gelatine, wark, pan masala, carob powder etc.

(a) tartaric acid or its salts, or both

(b) acid salts of phosphoric acid, or

(c) acid compounds of aluminium, or

(d) any combination of the foregoing.

Physical examination for extraneous matter (living insects), moulds, dead insects, insect fragments and rodent contamination (hair, excreta) visible to the naked eye

Quality Parameters

  • Carbon di oxide

This article contains only a summary of the FSSAI order on testing parameters. The entire older can be downloaded from here.

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