Home » FSS ACT » FSSAI proposes amendments related to microbial standards in fruits and vegetables products

FSSAI proposes amendments related to microbial standards in fruits and vegetables products

FSSAI proposes amendments related to microbial standards in fruits and vegetables products

FSSAI proposes amendments related to microbial standards in fruits and vegetables products

Through a notification dated 12th July, 2016 the FSSAI has proposed some amendments in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011. The proposed amendments are in the regulation related to the category of FRUIT & VEGETABLE PRODUCTS. Some other amendments have also been made to a few products that come under the regulation   SALT, SPICES, CONDIMENTS AND RELATED PRODUCTS. FSSAI has also invited comments and suggestions on these proposed amendments from WTO-SPS Member Countries within a period of 60 days from the above mentioned date. Once approved and notified these amendments will be called the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2016.

Part I 

In the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 under the category of ‘Fruits and vegetable Products” FSSAI has added some standards for some new categories of fruit and vegetable products which are as follows

Vanilla: FSSAI has added standards for vanilla in the form of pods, cut vanilla and vanilla powder and has defined the meaning of

  • Vanilla pods,
  • Cut vanilla
  • Vanilla powder

The proposed amendments say that the vanilla for all these products may be obtained only from the species Vanilla fragrans (Salisbury) Ames, syn Vanilla planifolia Andrews. It has also been pointed out that these products will not have added colour, undesirable taste or any extraneous matter. 

Coconut Milk: FSSAI has proposed that there will be two styles of coconut milk

  • Light coconut milk
  • Coconut Milk

FSSAI has described the four methods that may be used to prepare coconut milk. The first method of obtaining the milk is to use separated, whole, disintegrated, macerated or comminuted fresh endosperm (kernel) of coconut palm (Cocos nucifera L.) to expel the milk leaving out the filterable fibres and residues. The second method is to reconstitute coconut cream powder with potable water or disperse finely comminuted dehydrated coconut endosperm with potable water. The fourth method is to use a combination of all these three methods.

Coconut Cream: Coconut cream is to be obtained by the same method as coconut milk above. The two styles of coconut cream are

  • Coconut Cream
  • Coconut Cream Concentrate

Coconut cream is the emulsion extracted from matured endosperm (kernel) of the coconut fruit with or without any addition of coconut water or potable water – Coconut cream concentrate is the product obtained after the partial removal of water from coconut cream.

Coconut cream products may be processed by heat, in an appropriate manner before being hermetically sealed in a container.

Dried Apricots: This means product prepared from sound ripe fruit of varieties of Armeniaca vulgaria Lam. (Prunus armeniaca L.) and processed by sun drying or by other methods of dehydration. The styles of dry apricots are as follows

  • Whole, unpitted
  • Whole, pitted
  • Halves
  • Slabs – consisting of portions of sound, ripe apricots of characteristic colour, irregular in shape, size and thickness and excluding whole fruit.

In this category the standards define the types of damage and the extent to which the damage is permitted (5mm² of the total fruit). Other types of damage are

  • Broken fruit – fruit affected by any damage resulting from improper halving or other mechanical action.
  • Immature fruit- fruit which is generally deficient in sugar and may be sour in taste.
  • Insect damaged fruit- fruit which is affected by insect damage or containing dead insects, mites or other pests.
  • Mouldy fruit- fruit which is affected by mould to a visible extent, or decay.
  • Dirty fruit – fruit affected by imbedded dirt or any other foreign material.

Cocoa Beans: means the properly fermented and dried whole seeds of tree Theobroma cocoa Linnaeus. The product shall be free from smoky beans and any abnormal or foreign odour or flavour and admixture of any other seeds. It shall be reasonably free from broken beans, fragments and pieces of shell. The product shall be free from living insects. The definition for the various types of defective beans have mean mentioned like mouldy beans, slaty beans, smoky beans, insect damaged beans, germinated beans, flat beans, broken beans, fragments and shells. 

Arecanuts or Betelnuts or Supari: means nuts obtained from Areca Palm (Areca catechu L.).The product shall be dry, well matured, sound, clean, whole, fully dehusked, uniform in colour i.e. bright shining to dull red colour. No colour matter is permitted to be added and it must be free from insect infestation, visible moulds, fissures and shrinkage and shall not be hollow.

Part II

In the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 under the category of “Salt, Spices, Condiments & related products” some amendments have been made to the following 

Cinnamon (Dalchini) whole as well as in product Cinnamon (Dalchini) powder a new standard has been added to the existing standards and the new standard is the same for both products and will read as

Coumarin Content (on dry basis) – Not more than 0.3% by weight

Under Iron Fortified Iodized Salt (double fortified salt) a new standard has been proposed that will be called Seasoning For Noodles and Pasta.

Seasoning for noodles and pasta is intended to enhance their aroma and taste. It may contain ingredients such as spices, condiments and herbs including their extracts, salt and its substitutes, fruits and vegetables or their products/extracts, edible starches, yeast and its products, hydrolyzed protein and/or their products, poultry and marine, edible vegetable oils and fats and/or their products, cereal and cereal products, milk and milk products, nutritive and/or non-nutritive sweeteners. All the ingredients mentioned above must conform to the standards, wherever prescribed under Food Safety and Standards (Food Products and Additives) Regulations, 2011.

For all products

All these products that have been added to regulations or where standards are proposed to be amended must adhere to the following

  • If these products use additives then they must use only those Food Additives permitted in Appendix A of the Food Safety and Standards (Food products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.
  • The product covered in the new standards mentioned above must comply with the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011.
  • For the purpose of Hygiene the products shall be prepared and handled in accordance with the guidance provided in the Schedule 4, of the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011 and any other such guidance provided from time to time under the provisions of the Food Safety and Standard Act, 2006.
  • The product shall conform to the microbiological requirement given in Appendix B of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011.
  • The product covered by this Standard shall be labelled in accordance with the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging & Labelling) Regulation, 2011.
  • Methods of Sampling and Analysis will be as provided in the relevant FSSAI Manual of Method of Analysis of Food.

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