Get Free Assistance on FSSAI |
 

Archive for May 2013

Nagpur scientist selected on national panel for food standards development

NAGPUR: Sugandha Garway, the director of ANACON Laboratories Pvt Ltd from city has been selected as one of the members of the national panel of food standards harmonisation/development process.

Strawberries_shad

“We are expected to frame food safety standards and submit it to the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) by July 31 this year. I have been working in the field of food standards for long. But being on national panel is a matter of real pride,” she said speaking to TOI.

FSSAI was established under Section 4 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 with the mandate of laying down science based standards for articles of food and to regulate their manufacture, storage, distribution, sale and import to ensure availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

While developing these standards, it is proposed to cover products where we have domestic standards under Food Safety Standards Rules (FSSR) but these need a revision/harmonization with those of the ‘codex’ and other international best practices.

The Act aims to make food safety a national movement. To meet this target, FSSAI is using an inclusive approach by utilising the wisdom of all stakeholders in the country, ensuring all relevant issues are discussed through a transparent consultative process and conflicting opinions reconciled on the basis of scientific evidence.

Read More

Introducing “Business Associate Program”

After the introduction of the new FSSAI law in the country, the demand for Testing, Compliance and Training in the F&B and Corporate Industry has increased. Keeping this in mind, Equinox Solutions has started the Business Associate Program, an opportunity to partner with us.
An Equinox Business Associate would be marketing equinox services to Corporate, Hotels and Restaurants, Educational Institution, F&B (Food and Beverages), Government bodies, Builders, Housing societies. When you become an Equinox BAP with us, you get the experience of working with Equinox – a pioneer in Testing, Training and Compliance. Equinox BAP is responsible to generates leads of business, audit, inspection training and compliance. This will help Business Associate to generate revenue and also promote their branding in the industry.

Business Associate Program
Business Associate Program

What is Equinox Business Associate Program?

• Equinox Business Associate Program is an opportunity for individuals to render the services on behalf of Equinox and to generate revenue for themselves.

• Equinox BAP is responsible to generates leads of business, audit, inspection, Testing, Compliance and Training.

• Experience of working with Equinox – a pioneer in Testing, Compliance and Training.

• As and when Equinox has an opportunity of any business at your location, you get the chance to handle the business for Equinox

How To Become An Equinox Business Associate Program?

• In order to become a BAP with Equinox Labs, you have to fill online application form, after that we will shortlist the potential prospective BAP.

• On selection, you would be trained on marketing tactics and Equinox business environment.

• The training shall be provided to you by marketing team of Equinox via CD, Webinars, Skype or Classes.

• After the training, you shall undergo an Assessment, on the basis of  which you shall become a BAP with us.

 Who Can Be A Equinox Business Associate?

• Food Consultants

• Retired Food Technologists.

• Faculty and Professors from Food Technology colleges.

• Associates of Food Business.

• Associates of F&B Company

• Individual consultants.

• Food and Beverage Manufacturers.

Advantages Of Being An Equinox Business Associate:

• Equinox BAP will get the following commission structure: 10% on the invoice value of Rs 3, 00,000 15% above the invoice value of Rs 3, 00,000

• BAP will help in the growth and expansion of business.

• BAP will help to gain competitive advantage over other.

• The Equinox BAP shall help you to market your talent in the corporate industry and improve your networking within your industry.

Click For more information Or To Apply for the Equinox Business Associate Program

309 packaged water units on strike

Chennai: Over 309 ISI certified packaged drinking water units belonging to TN Packaged Drinking Water Manuf­acturers Association (TNDWMA) have stopped production since Wednesday, protesting the closure of 103 units in Ch­ennai, Kancheepuram and Tiruvallur by TNPCB (TN Pollution Control Board) for not obtaining pollution control license.

Chennaiites rely solely on packaged drinking water owing to uncertainty over supply from the fast depleting city reservoirs, which only store 2.6tmcft, against total joint storage of 11.057tmcft.

TNDWMA on Thursday petitioned the CM to drop the charges against the 103 units and relax the rule making it mandatory to avail TNPCB license.

“There is no need to get TNPCB nod,” argued TNDWMA patron V. Murali. Claiming that all units have BIS and FSSA (food safety and standard aut­hority of India) quality ce­rtification and over 50 tests were conducted be­fo­re supplying people, Murali said if the water did not conform to central standards, BIS closes the unit.

As per TNPCB norm, every 10,000 litre capacity plant should have one hectare of land to discharge residual water. “Over 90 per cent units are small scale industries that produced over 2000 cans. How could they afford so much land in Chennai?” Murali wondered threatening not to restart production.

As sweetener, stevia could be ideal for India’s agro-economy

Stevia, which has earned the in-principle nod of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) – the country’s apex food regulator – could be the best bet for the nation’s agro-economy in future, owing to its medicinal and sweetening properties, according to Bala Prassad, chief executive officer, National Medicinal Plant Board (NMPB), and joint secretary, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Deliberating on the sweetener at the Fourth Stevia Global Summit India, which took place at New Delhi’s PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Sunday, Prassad said NMPB has decided to boost stevia cultivation in India. He added, “Under the current provisions, 20 per cent of the cost of production, which is set at Rs 3,12,500 per hectare, is subsidised by the board. But the minimum requirement would be five farmers and two hectare of land.”

But there continued to be questions about the species of stevia that must be incorporated, because the plant has approximately 400 varieties. Dr Silvamurthy, former food scientist, Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), said, “Stevia has several medicinal properties, which could be helpful in preventing several lifestyle diseases like obesity. Moreover, farmers could avail carbon credits by growing stevia.”

FSSAI’s P Chakravarthy informed that the Indian regulator took the decision to approve stevia as an artificial sweetening additive followed approvals by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and the European Union (EU). He added, “FSSAI’s scientific panel has already approved it, and a gazette notification has been issued in this regard after a detailed study.”

He said, “However, stevia (currently usable as steviol glycoside) can only be used in the form of tablets with a prescribed formulation,” adding that discussions are currently underway to get it approved for all forms of oral use, including liquid dosages and powder. Separate nods are needed to be able to use the product as a food ingredient and as medicine.

Sourabh Agrawal, chief executive officer, India Stevia Association, New Delhi, and chairman and managing director, Stevia Biotech; S S Aggarwal, director general, Amity Institute of Pharmacy, Amity University, Noida; Amarender Singh Bawa, former director, DRDO food laboratory, Mysore, and Ashok Chauhan, founder president, Amity Group of Institutions, were also present at the summit.

Read More

Indian govt to set standards for wine industry

By the next fiscal, importers will find it difficult to dump poor quality wine in Indian market, as the Ministry of Food Processing Industries (MoFPI), Government of India is planning to create standards for wine industry based on global best practices, according to a Business Line report.

Wine-State-laws-in-IndiaThe standards will help the Indian wine industry create ‘Indian brands’ and reach new markets in Europe, Asia and North America.

Standards will codify grape varieties, alcohol content, fermentation processes, hygiene standards and viticulture practices for the wineries.

The wine standards would be notified by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), while the actual groundwork would be done by MoFPI, Indian Grape Processing Board and National Research Centre for Grapes.

U Venkateswarlu, Joint Secretary, MoFPI told Business Line that Indian wineries find it difficult to sell their products in overseas market because they have not been able to produce wines to the global standards.

On the other hand, importers unload poor quality in Indian market because the Government has not set any quality parameters for these wines. The new standards will address this incongruity in the market, he said.

Read More

Quality Standard for Indian Traditional Sweets

The Sweets and Snacks Products (Traditional Sweets) for which the standards have not been prescribed fall under the category of “Proprietary Food”. These products should comply with the regulatory provisions like FSS (Contaminants, Toxins & Residues) Regulation, 2011 and Table 2 of Appendix A and Appendix B of Food Safety and Standards (FSS) (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011. Codex has prescribed some standards for Sweets and Snacks under Table 2 of General Standards for Food Additive (GSFA).

Sweets and Snack Products are required to comply with the above mentioned Regulations. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has initiated the process of revision/harmonization of standards for food products with those of Codex and other international best practices and to develop new standards in respect of those food products where there is a need to develop standards taking into account the Codex and other international best practices.

Export promotion of Indian traditional sweets and snack products is looked after by Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority, under the Ministry of Commerce. The products have to comply with the standards of the importing countries.

This information was given by Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Shri Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury in written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha today.

FSSAI’S Norms for Cleanliness at Food Outlets

Schedule 4 of the FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011 prescribes the general hygienic and sanitary requirements to be followed by Food Business Operators.

All Food Business Operators (FBOs) in the Country should get a Central/ State licensing depending upon installed capacity and Registration in case of petty food businesses.

The FBO shall comply with safety, sanitary and hygienic requirements provided in the schedule and contained under different parts depending on nature of business.

The implementation of Food Safety and Standards Act/ Rule/Regulation rests with State Government/ Union Territories. The food safety inspection of these license/ registration establishments is required to be carried out at least once in a year.

This information was given by the Minister of State for Health & Family Welfare Shri Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury, in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

Delhi awaits new facilitation centre: Licensing & registration of FBOs

THE licensing and registration of food business operators (FBOs), an exercise which is in progress in other parts of the country for the last one-and-a-half years, has still not started in New Delhi. The reason for this is said to be that the department of food is awaiting the completion of furnishing of the new facilitation centre coming up at Mayur Bhawan in Connaught Place.

food-outlets-300x199

It is pertinent to mention here that the deadline for licensing and registration expired, a couple of months ago, but was extended by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) till February 2014. Thus while three months of the extended deadline have already passed, the furnishing is yet to begin. Nevertheless, it has been learnt that the department has taken some steps for the giant task and appointed designated officers for the purpose of keeping an eye on the progress, once the work starts.

K J R Burman, food safety commissioner, Delhi, explained to F&B News, “The centre at Mayur Bhawan would act as a facilitation centre for the purpose of licensing and registration for the districts where our officials would help and guide the applicants in filing of the papers.” He felt that the delay was due to logistical difficulties.

Meanwhile, the biggest hurdle in the process of licensing and registration was the manpower, so the office of the Delhi food safety commissioner decided to make the whole process online. For this as well, the nod by the Food Safety and Standards authority of India (FSSAI) was still awaited by the authorities, though the State Bank of India had agreed to help the department in deposition of fees and so on.

While there were reports of the beginning of the process, Burman clarified that full-fledged operations would only start when the facilitation centre would get furnished with all the necessities. He informed that only those FBOs who operate within and outside Delhi  needed Central licences. Therefore they applied for the same and their matter was considered while the FBOs operating in Delhi needed to wait further.

Read More

Health Officer finds hospital kitchen unhealthy

Srinagar, May 9: Consuming anything at this Government Medical College, Srinagar run hospital canteen could have left you ailing. Reasons: City’s Health Officer has found its kitchen unhygienic.

hos
During an inspection Thursday the Srinagar Municipal Corporation(SMC)  Health Officer Dr Rubeena Shaheen found the kitchen of SMHS Hospital canteen in unhealthy conditions even as she slapped a fine on the accused.
“Fine was also imposed and recovered from SMHS canteen on finding its kitchen in ill sanitary conditions,” an official handout from the SMC said.“The Health Officer along with her team of food Safety Task Force inspected various food outlets, restaurants,  confectionaries  in Karan Nagar and its adjoining areas including GMC and the associated hospitals. All these food establishments were inspected thoroughly and  some of the prominent food establishments were put to inclusive food audit by using various testers and food gadgets for quality check and  for  lifting of variety of samples,” the handout said.
Dr Rubeena accompanied by the Municipal Magistrate  instructed the food outlets to “maintain up to the mark sanitation and all the food handlers were directed to  necessarily wear proper uniform with hand gloves and head gears while preparing food items.”
The SMC Commissioner Dr GN Qasba  has directed the Health Officer “not to spare any such violators/offenders  who are found selling substandard,  stale or expiry food stuff.”
“All such violators  shall be fined and   prosecuted   as per the FSSAI,” he added.
Dr Qasba said the market inspection would be routine affair and that the inspections would be extended to school canteens, restaurants, hotels, hospitals, private institutions and Dhabas etc.
“The HO shall conduct food safety audit at-least twice a week and the report will be significantly made public,” Dr Qasba added.

Market players should follow rules, Zagade tells IDMA meet on product regn

The IDMA (Indian Drug Manufacturers’ Association) Nutraceutical Subcommittee organised a conference – Product Registration Under FSSAI – Knowhow & Challenges – here on Friday.

The conference was aimed at both the nutraceutical as well as pharmaceutical sectors and most of the presentations that were a part of the conference pertained to topics related to these sectors.

The conference also included those who were engaged in marketing of nutraceuticals, churning up options for specific healthcare problems.

According to IDMA, in 2006, FSS (Food Safety & Standards) Act was implemented and with that many complex issues pertaining to transition from PFA (Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954) to FSSA were tackled.

The beneficial role of nutra products or nutraceuticals is taken into consideration by healthcare specialists and the consumers looking at the fact that the Indian market valued at $1,480 million (Rs 7, 400 crore) in 2011 is estimated to grow to $2,731 million (Rs 13, 655 crore) by 2016, it was pointed out at the conference.

Mahesh Zagade, food safety commissioner, FDA, Maharashtra, Mumbai, who chaired one of the sessions, said, “The nutraceutical and pharma markets are emerging, but market players should follow the rules. If you do so, you will not meet with obstacles and face issues as those who do not abide by the rules, their licences are cancelled.”

Read More

FSSAI trains FBOs from Gujarat in preparing, serving food hygienically

234245-sumona-chakravarti-serving-food-at-maha-ashtami-at-north-bombay.jpg

A coordination committee appointed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) – the country’s apex food regulator – visited nine food markets in Ahmedabad recently, selected about 100 food joint owners and their employees and trained them at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) new West Zone office over a period of four days to prepare and serve food to their customers in a hygienic manner.

H G Koshia, commissioner, Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) Gujarat, was a member of the team that imparted the training, as were Mahesh Soni, deputy secretary, investigation, FDCA Gujarat, and Atul Soni, public analyst, AMC. The trainees were vendors at the Vastrapur, Kankaria, Akhbarnagar, Khokhra, Manek Chowk and Law Garden markets, and non-vegetarian ones such as Jamalpur, Teen Darwaja and Juhapura.

“Our teams visited the markets, observed the way the vendors work and took their photographs before selecting the vendors for training. We chalked out a training programme and the trainees were given complementary kits comprising gloves, aprons and caps, which they were asked to wear while cooking food and serving it to the customers.

Read More

Barbeque Nation gets FDA notice to improve hygiene

FDA begins checking on high-end eateries in second phase of cleanliness drive; over 1,000 establishments have been inspected and 200 served notices in the past year
Barbeque Nation, the popular eatery at Pali Hill, has been served an “improvement notice” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) department, following an inspection of the premises a few days ago. The notice was served after the FDA team found that the eatery lacked basic hygiene and cleanliness.

The FDA team found that Barbeque Nation lacked basic cleanliness

 

The move is the second phase of an FDA drive to check top notch eateries, after officials found that several high end establishments were not adhering to accepted cleanliness standards.
“We inspected the place last month and found that the eatery lacked cleanliness and basic hygiene wasmissing.Forinstance,theirwater storage tank was not well maintained, and they were not segregating dry and wet waste. The eatery’s floor too was not kept clean,” said Suresh Deshmukh, Joint Commissioner, Food, FDA.
“After a thorough inspection my officers issued them an improvementnotice,askingthemtoimmediately make the necessary changes,” Deshmukh said, adding that the eateryalsofailedtoproducemedicalcertificates of their employees, which is mandatory for an eatery as per the Food Safety Standards Authority Act.
Between April 2012 and March 2013,theFDAhasinspected1,158establishments in the city and served improvement notices to over 200 eateries.
“In the first phase of our drive, we clamped down on smaller eateries and are now targeting top notch establishments. This should serve as a warning for eateries to implement the necessary changes, failing which they are likely to be penalized or even have their licence revoked,” Deshmukh said.
When contacted, Barbeque Nation admitted to the notice from FDA. Their spokesman said, “Yes, we had a thorough FDA inspection at our Khar outlet. They have sent us an improvement note on how to better the hygiene in our kitchen and restaurant, and we have begun implementing the suggestions. For example, we’ve started maintaining an ‘in and out’ register of all perishable items on a daily basis. We have also improved our garbage disposal system and are segregating the wet and dry garbage before disposing it.”

FSSAI trains FBOs from Gujarat in preparing, serving food hygienically

images

A coordination committee appointed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) – the country’s apex food regulator – visited nine food markets in Ahmedabad recently, selected about 100 food joint owners and their employees and trained them at the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation’s (AMC) new West Zone office over a period of four days to prepare and serve food to their customers in a hygienic manner.

H G Koshia, commissioner, Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) Gujarat, was a member of the team that imparted the training, as were Mahesh Soni, deputy secretary, investigation, FDCA Gujarat, and Atul Soni, public analyst, AMC. The trainees were vendors at the Vastrapur, Kankaria, Akhbarnagar, Khokhra, Manek Chowk and Law Garden markets, and non-vegetarian ones such as Jamalpur, Teen Darwaja and Juhapura.

“Our teams visited the markets, observed the way the vendors work and took their photographs before selecting the vendors for training. We chalked out a training programme and the trainees were given complementary kits comprising gloves, aprons and caps, which they were asked to wear while cooking food and serving it to the customers.
They were also asked to undergo regular health check-ups,” Koshia said.“Our teams visited the markets, observed the way the vendors work and took their photographs before selecting the vendors for training. We chalked out a training programme and the trainees were given complementary kits comprising gloves, aprons and caps, which they were asked to wear while cooking food and serving it to the customers. They were also asked to undergo regular health check-ups,” Koshia said.

Read More

 

HC suggests framing separate FSSA rules for restaurants

images (4)

MUMBAI: The Bombay High Court today suggested the Maharashtra government to frame separate rules and regulations under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) for food service providers like hotels and restaurants.

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice M S Sanklecha was hearing a petition filed by the Association of Indian Hotels and Restaurants ( AHAR), which has over 6000 members, challenging the constitutional validity of FSSA 2006 and the Rules and Regulations framed under the Act in 2011.

According to the petitioner association, the provisions of FSSA are not applicable to food service providers like hotels and restaurants as they do not manufacture food.

“The Act deals only with manufacturing of food articles and are mainly and substantially for manufacturing units. In hotels and restaurants food is cooked and served to customers. Cooking of food is not manufacturing,” the petition states.

The petition further claims that the FSSA and its rules are ex-facie, ambiguous and unconstitutional and should be declared null and void. The association has sought direction to the government to create separate rules for food service providers and also declare that the FSSA is applicable to manufacturing units.

The bench while issuing notices to the union government, state government and Food Safety and Standards Authority suggested the Maharashtra government to frame new rules for hotels and restaurants.

Railway Catering Policy introduced with focus on quality food, RS told

It is a continuous endeavour by the Indian Railways to provide good quality hygienic food to railway passengers. Accordingly, New Catering Policy 2010 has been introduced on July 21, 2010, with a mandate for effective quality assurance programme, wherein ISO-22000 standards are being progressively implemented for major contracts / units. This information was given by minister of state for railways Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha on Friday.

railway

Supervision and monitoring have been strengthened through a mechanism put in place by deploying railway personnel, who check quality and hygiene and take corrective action in a time-bound manner. Catering Monitoring Cells have been set up at zonal and divisional level for daily monitoring of the catering activities.

Further, on the same pattern, a Centralised Catering Complaint Monitoring Cell has been set up in board’s office having a toll free number 1800-111-321 for prompt redressal of the passenger grievances related to catering in real-time assistance.

A total number of 405 food samples were picked up for sample tests from Rajdhani Express trains, including Guwahati- and Dibrugarh-bound trains in the year 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13.

Appropriate action under Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, / Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, has been initiated for food samples found unfit. Besides this, departmental actions like imposition of fine, warning etc. have been undertaken.

Read More

New Guidelines Issued by FSSAI

images (1)

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a new advisory on 11th December, 2012 relating to sale of new or existing proprietary food products. As per Section- 22 of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 (FSSA), “no person shall manufacture, distribute, sell or import any novel food, genetically modified articles of food, irradiated food, organic food, foods for special dietary uses, functional foods, neutraceuticals, health supplements, proprietary foods and such other articles of food which the Central Government may notify in this behalf”. As on date, there is no standard for these food items in India. Hence, new advisory has been issued in this regard. This advisory has been drafted after detailed consultations.

This information was given by the Minister for Health & Family Welfare Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad in written reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha today.

Restaurant strike 99% successful in Mumbai; No support from MNC chains

Hotels and restaurants across India downed their shutters recently to protest against the ambiguous provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006, and the service tax levied by the Centre on air-conditioned eateries that serve alcohol.

Shashikant Shetty, secretary, the Association of Hotels and Restaurants (AHAR), a Mumbai-based body, informed FnB News via telephone that although the eateries incurred losses worth approximately Rs 2,000 crore, there was an overwhelming response to it.

In fact, he said the strike was 99 per cent successful in Mumbai. “The indifference by the multi-national quick service restaurant (QSR) chains was disappointing,” Shetty said. However, he added that it was deliberate on their part.

“Jubilant Foodworks Ltd (the master franchisee for Domino’s Pizza), McDonald’s, Yum! Brands (which operates KFC and Pizza Hut) did not support us. The intention of the MNCs is mala fide. They want to wipe the smller Indian players out,” he said.

Read More

New FDA Act prohibits food colouring agents

download

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), under the Food Safety and Standards Act of India (FSSAI), has prohibited use of colouring agents in food in restaurants. The Act only exempts items such as ice-creams, flavoured milk etc., in which colours can be used within permissible quantities.

The FDA recently slapped a fine of `50,000 on a Byculla-based restaurant and bar for using colouring agents in chicken lollipop. Officials from the FDA claimed that an eatery had to cough up such a hefty fine for using colours in food under FSSAI. Prior to the FSSAI Act, FDA officials had to press charges against an eatery in the court and wait for the judicial outcome. Now, FDA officials directly impose a fine as per the provisions in the Act.
Rakesh Shetty, owner of Renault Restaurant and Bar in Byculla, which was fined, said, “We were not aware that food colour is not allowed. Now, we have switched to natural colours such as kashmiri mirch.”
According to the FSSAI Act, any cooked food item cannot be prepared using a colouring agent. “Only items such as cakes, ice-creams and sweets can be prepared using colouring agents, but that also as per the prescribed limits,” said Suresh Deshmukh, assistant commissioner (food), FDA.
“Edible food colour if used in wrong quantities in cooking food is known to be carcinogenic (causing cancer). Many eateries, especially in the unorganised sector, tend to add colouring agents to enhance a food item. For instance, adding colour to make palak greener,” said Kamlesh Barot, former president, Federation of Hotels and Restaurants Association of India (FHRAI). “Those owners and chefs who have not gained technical education tend to indulge in these practices as they are not aware that it is illegal to do so,” he added The FHRAI is conducting workshops to create awareness among restaurant owners about the FSSAI Act. Even FDA officials have been conducting meetings with associations for the same.

Re-launch of pepper futures likely

download

Pepper futures contracts on commodity exchanges might be re-launched soon when the controversial mineral oil issue is resolved.

The issue had rocked the Food Safety Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and led to sealing of 8,000 tonnes of the commodity in Kochi and suspension of trade in December 2012. The Forward Markets Commission (FMC) had asked the National Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (NCDEX) to resolve the issue before granting permission to re-launch the contracts, temporarily suspended a few months ago.

Following this, NCDEX released the payment for testing the samples of pepper sealed by FSSAI, applying for new contracts afresh. As FMC didn’t mention mineral oil testing in the contract, it chose to suspend the contract to avoid controversy. Meanwhile, the mineral oil issue related to the pepper stocks sealed by FSSAI in Kochi has gradually lost relevance.

Used to polish sub-standard pepper, mineral oil evaporates after three months. That FSSAI is in no hurry to release the sealed pepper is evident from the fact that a random check of two lots (of nine tonnes and 24 tonnes) in February found no trace of mineral oil.

Read more