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Food Safety and standards act enables focus from food adulteration to food safety

Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan

  Recent findings reveal there is huge potential in India for the protein rich foods. Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA) which ensures food safety is one of the major domains of assuring consumer satisfaction. Protein malnutrition is the biggest issue in India. Of the total newborns 42 percent were below normal body weight of 2 Kg. Of the daily income, Indians spend 40 percent for food. Of which they spend 28 percent for purchase of Animal protein sources like milk, meat, egg and fish in urban areas. In the rural areas it is 26 percent. With regard to vegetables and pulses it is 26 and 24 percent respectively. So there is a marginal increase in demand of animal protein sources.51 Percent of Indians are of below 26 years. They require powerful and energy food. The habit of delaying the intake of dinner is emerging in the country. So an additional food item is emerging to be stabilized as part of food habits between 6-7PM. There lies huge potential for animal protein sources. Decreasing production and productivity is the biggest issue in dairying. Productivity can only be increased through scientific breeding, feeding, management and disease control measures.
Production through livestock ventures can be improved only through scientific knowledge transfer on different domains of production and marketing. Then only it can be made viable. Print, electronic and new media pay a key role in knowledge dissemination among the potential stake holders. The media is one of the powerful tools that gives information about facts, the talk about, the latest news and concerns while every people listens to them. Developing livestock based social media campaigns will ensure livestock based messages to reach the target audience and even more importantly, appeal to them.

Food Safety and Standards act envisages single reference point for all matters relating to food safety and standards, by moving from multi- level, multi- departmental control to a single line of command. Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and the State Food Safety Authorities shall enforce various provisions of the Act. The act provides a single window system for food quality assurance. At a time when food processing industry shows spectacular growth in the country, FSS act play a key role in maintaining food safety standards. Annual growth rate in food processing sector in the country is 18-20 percent. There is huge opportunity for ready to eat and ready to cook products. Recently Consumers are aware about the deleterious effects of food toxins, pathogens, pesticides, heavy metals and antibiotics.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have been established under Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 consolidates various acts & orders handled food related issues in various Ministries and Departments. FSSAI has been created for 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.
Various central Acts like Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 , Fruit Products Order , 1955, Meat Food Products Order , 1973,Vegetable Oil Products (Control) Order, 1947,Edible Oils Packaging (Regulation)Order 1988, Solvent Extracted Oil, De- Oiled Meal and Edible Flour (Control) Order, 1967, Milk and Milk Products Order, 1992 etc will be repealed after commencement of FSS Act, 2006.Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India is the administrative Ministry for the implementation of FSSAI. The Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) have already been appointed by Government of India.
FSSAI has been mandated by the FSS Act, 2006 for performing the following functions:
• Framing of Regulations to lay down the Standards and guidelines in relation to articles of food and specifying appropriate system of enforcing various standards thus notified.
• Laying down mechanisms and guidelines for accreditation of certification bodies engaged in certification of food safety management system for food businesses.
• Laying down procedure and guidelines for accreditation of laboratories and notification of the accredited laboratories.
• To provide scientific advice and technical support to Central Government and State Governments in the matters of framing the policy and rules in areas which have a direct or indirect bearing of food safety and nutrition.
• Collect and collate data regarding food consumption, incidence and prevalence of biological risk, contaminants in food, residues of various, contaminants in foods products, identification of emerging risks and introduction of rapid alert system.
• Creating an information network across the country so that the public, consumers, Panchayats etc receive rapid, reliable and objective information about food safety and issues of concern.
• Provide training programmes for persons who are involved or intend to get involved in food businesses.
• Contribute to the development of international technical standards for food, sanitary and phytosanitary standards.
• To promote general awareness about food safety and food standards.
(Source -www.fssai.gov.in)
Recent amendments
Amendments made in the food safety and standards act focuses on adulteration to food safety. Recent amendments with regard to microbiological Standards for Fruits and Vegetables and their Products incorporated fresh means the whole fruits and vegetables that are sold fresh. Cut or minimally processed and packaged including juices means fruits, vegetables including their products which are washed or sanitized or peeled or cut up and packed. Fermented or pickled or acidified or with preservatives means fruits, vegetables and including their products which are preserved using living ferments like yeast, bacterium, mold, enzyme or in brine to produce lactic acid or marinating and storing it in an acid solution, usually vinegar (acetic acid)
Pasteurized Juices means fruit and Vegetable Juices that are subjected to standard process of pasteurization to destroy or inactivate harmful organisms. Carbonated fruit beverages means any beverage or drink which is prepared from fruit juice and water or carbonated water and containing sugar, dextrose, invert sugar or liquid glucose either in single or in combination which may contain peel oil and fruit essences. It may also contain any other ingredients appropriate to the products.. Frozen means fruits and vegetables including their products, subjected to a freezing process and maintained at temperature of -180C. Dehydrated or dried means fruits, vegetables including their products which are preserved by removing most of their water content following an appropriate dehydrating process. Thermally processed means fruits, vegetables and including their products processed by heat in an appropriate manner before or after being sealed in a container so as to prevent spoilage. Retort processed means fruits and vegetables including their products that are canned or flexible packaged, processed by retorting at pressure of 1.1 kg/Cm2 (1210C) for a minimum of 15 minutes.

Virgin Coconut Oil means the oil extracted from Copra obtained from the kernel of Cocos nucifera nuts by mechanical or natural means with or without the application of heat, which does not lead to alteration of the oil and virgin coconut oil is suitable for human consumption in its natural state without refining. It shall be clear and free from rancidity, suspended or other foreign matter, separated water, added coloring or flavoring substances, or mineral oil and it shall conform to the following standards – Test for Test for argemone oil shall be negative. Food Additives are not permitted. The product covered in this standard shall comply with the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011.
The product shall confirm to the microbiological requirement given in Appendix B of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011. For labelling provisions laid down under Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011 shall apply. Methods of Sampling and Analysis must be provided as per appropriate Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Manual of Methods of Analysis of Food. Under the domain Contaminants, Toxins and Residues, products covered in this standard shall comply with the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011. In order to maintain 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.) Labelling must be as per the provisions laid down under Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling)
The Spiced Country Spirit is the plain or blended country spirit which has been flavored or colored or both as permitted under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011. Premix or flavored vodka is the alcoholic beverage made out of vodka and flavorings, with or without colour and with or without added sugar or additives permitted under the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011. Swedish vodka is distilled and matured in Sweden as per the provisions of laws applicable thereto. Vodka shall be free from chloral hydrate, ammonium chloride, diazepam, paraldehyde, caffeine or any other types of narcotic, psychotropic substances which, when mixed with alcohol, are injurious to health.
Opportunities
Production of traditional livestock products, which fetches good price, should be promoted by exhibiting its inherent strengths and proper branding strategies. Changes in the extension approaches, market forecasting system, value addition, awareness on diseases affecting trade of livestock products, changes in the consumer behavior, production of livestock products based on the demographic characteristics of the population, good manufacturing and retail practices, best production practices and implementation of food safety norms, branding, etc need to be given more importance. One needs to redefine the role of marketing as creating, communicating and delivering value to the consumer. Hence addition of value to the livestock products should be based on consumer needs, taste and preferences like fat free milk for cardiac patients, chocolates for children, quality cheese while considering for international market, etc. Ensuring FSS act is really a value addition for food products in the food industry which shows spectacular growth in the country. Multi drug resistance (MDR) is emerging as a major health hazard across the world. By 2050 it has been forecasted that MDR will cause death of 50 million people across the globe. Control of use of antibiotics, feed additives, growth promoters, etc will reduce the alarming rate of MDR.
*(Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan is the Director of Entrepreneurship at Kerala Veterinary and animal Sciences University, Pookode. E mail- tpsethu20002gmail.com)

 

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