Harmful ripening of fruits with calcium carbide now has a safer alternative

4,June, 2020 Leave a comment

Soon ripening of fruits, especially, mangoes during the summer season with harmful calcium carbide by unscrupulous dealers, may become a thing of the past as Heighten Innovative Solutions, a Hyderabad-based company, has come up with a safe solution to ripen fruits.

En-Ripe, the new product developed by the company, is a fruit ripening powder, which is recognised by FSSAI and it is found to be safe and non-toxic. The product is also promoted by the Government of Telangana.

Basically, the product is made up of vegetable starches, activated carbon and few other edible ingredients which are processed and dried to make the powder. The product is available in a pouch and is priced at Rs 15 to Rs 20. It takes two-three days for one pouch to ripen about 20 kg mangoes, 48 hours for bananas and papayas, 24 hours for chikoos, custard apples and one day for degrading of citrus fruits like lemon and mosambi.

While talking to FnB News, Sathwik Reddy, operations manager, Heighten Innovative Solutions, said, “En-Ripe aids in post-harvest artificial ripening, which is crucial to fruit availability and subsequent consumption. The only safe ripening method available was fruit ripening chamber but they are expensive. Each plant costs around Rs 50-70 lakh for the set-up. The output for ripening after using that chamber is limited. They are not available where they are required. They are only few of them available across the country.”

He said, “This is the main reason why people are highly dependent on chemicals although government has banned it, but people don’t have an alternative so they continue using them. People should stop using China powder pesticide which is Ethafoam as it is contaminating fruits and is a slow poison. Although, En-Ripe will help in less fruits wastage and the fruits will have longer shelf life while retaining the taste and aroma of the fruit. Due to the lockdown, the supply of our product is affected and things are on a slow pace. After this lockdown is over, we are planning to promote the product in pan-India and also planning to expand it further.  ”

Meanwhile, the manufacturing unit has been temporarily closed because of the ongoing lockdown in the country. But, the company has a capacity to make two lakh pouches per day at its unit near Shamshabad and is looking to ramp it up to five lakh packets shortly and later to 10 lakh pouches to cater to South India and other places.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI launches cloud-based compliance platform Food Safety Compliance System

4,June, 2020 Leave a comment

 

FSSAI is launching its cloud-based, upgraded new food safety compliance online platform called Food Safety Compliance System (FoSCoS).

It will replace the existing FLRS. FoSCoS is conceptualised to provide one point stop for all engagement of an FBO with the department for any regulatory compliance transaction.

Since 2011, the FSSAI’s online licensing platform FLRS

(Food Licensing and Registration System) has been the soul of the licensing ecosystem with 100 per cent India (all state and UTs) coverage, 70 lakh licences/ registrations issued till date, over 35 lakh licensees/ registrants actively transacting on it.

FoSCoS has been integrated with FoSCoRIS mobile app and will soon integrate with present IT platforms of FSSAI such as INFOLNet, FoSTaC, FICS and FPVIS. Sample management, improvement notices, adjudications, audit management system and so on activities/ modules will be enabled in phased manner in future.

Technologies such as GPS location tagging, picture capture and RFID will be utilised in future to ensure transparent and accountable extension field services such inspections and sampling. In future it will be integrated with other platforms of Government of India such as GST, PAN and MCA to ensure a 360 degree profiling and validation of businesses.

A single regulatory platform will enable pan-India integrated response system to any food fraud and ensure an advanced risk-based, data-driven regulatory approach. For the start, FoSCoS will be offering licensing, registration, inspection and annual return modules.

FoSCoS essentially has flows similar to FLRS, so that users have convenience in migrating to FoSCoS. The paradigm change is the shift of methodology of licensing for manufacturers which now shall be based on standardised product list. 

This will help in quicker grant of licences and eliminate any errors. The new approach is only for manufacturers of standardised food products. For manufacturers, in case of non-specified food, supplements/nutraceuticals, proprietary food and substances added to food – the approach continues to be as in FLRS.

All other kind of businesses such as catering, transport and storage, the licensing/ registration shall be based on broad category approach, as earlier.

Along with FoSCoS, the module for filing online annual return shall also be available. The return for financial year 2019-2020 may also be filed online.

Delayed returns due to postal delays, need to preserve dispatch/receipt proofs and disputes regarding submission of returns resulting in harassment of food business operators will be eliminated.

Mandatory documents have been rationalised and many paper-based declarations have been replaced 

with tick based declaration. The central theme is to enhance the ease of doing business for the food business operators and enhances user experience for users.

The FoSCoS shall be launched in phases. For the initial launch of FoSCoS with effect from  June 1, 2020, states/UTs of Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, Goa, Delhi, Odisha, Manipur, Chandigarh, Puducherry and Ladakh have been selected.

the FoSCoS is launched in a state/UT, all licences/ registrations pertaining to the state will be available on FoSCoS and the FLRS data shall be disabled for taking any action.

However, for initial days, users can access their issued licences/registrations or applications under processing on FLRS for viewing purpose only. Users will not be required to immediately do anything upon migration to FoSCoS apart from verifying the correctness of details in issued licences/registrations and applications under processing.

However, all manufacturers holding valid FSSAI licence shall be needed to modify their licence to choose from the available list of standardised products before December 31, 2020. Steps to be taken upon migration from FLRS to FoSCoS, FAQs and other user-oriented material have been made available on the homepage of FLRS and FoSCoS both.

States/UTs have been given directions for capacity building among the officers and Food Business Operators, to ensure smooth transition from FLRS to FoSCoS. Over the past three months, FSSAI has conducted several trainings/workshops on the key features of the system.

Further, a training version of FoSCoS has been made available so that users of system get acquainted with the upcoming system. The Guidance Document, PPT, Video Tutorials and User Manuals have been made available under User Manual Section on the homepage of the system.

Directions have been issued to all states/UTs to establish a “Licensing Help Desk” at State HQ level for addressing queries of users. An officer(s) needs to handle this desk whose telephone number and email needs to be disseminated to stakeholders in the state.

Categories: NEWS

FSSAI seeks clarity on import of golden syrup to stop misuse in honey

4,June, 2020 Leave a comment

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued an order seeking clarification from the importers of golden syrup/invert sugar syrup/rice syrup after it received complaints about these syrups being used for production of honey.

The order says that the importers were directed to submit necessary documents at scrutiny stage before clearance including the details of end-users of the imported food item to maintain the regulatory compliance of the rules and regulations made by the FSSAI.

The order says, “To ensure quality of honey and to contain the misuse of imported golden syrup/invert sugar syrup/rice syrup in production of honey, all the importers/food business operators who are importing these food items in India are directed to also submit necessary documents at scrutiny stage, before clearance, to concerned Authorised Officer regarding details of the manufacturer(s) with end use to whom the aforesaid imported food items will be supplied.”

Golden syrup is a yellowish syrup made from evaporated sugarcane juice, used as a sweetener and in baking. Invert sugar syrup and rice syrup have similar composition and used in various food preparations like bakery. However, there were instances of misuse of these syrups in honey production.

According to FSSAI, golden syrup/invert sugar syrup/rice syrup are sometimes being used in production of honey as they are cheap in cost, have similar physical properties and available easily.

The order, meanwhile, directed the Authorised Officers to carry out clearance of these products only after ensuring the necessary documents and fulfilment of other requirements of FSSAI. Also, the officers were asked to submit the details of the cleared imported consignments of these products with the concerned Central Designated Officer to ensure compliance of regulatory requirements under FSS Act.

Categories: NEWS

Tamilnadu State–Gutka,panmasala-prohibition order

4,June, 2020 Leave a comment

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Categories: GO&NOTIFICATION

New online portal to simplify food licencing norms

4,June, 2020 Leave a comment
 

Panaji: A new online platform has been introduced for food operators to apply for and renew registrations under the Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA), 2006.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has launched a cloud-based, upgraded food safety licencing and compliance online platform called the Food Safety and Compliance System (FoSCos), replacing the Food Licencing and Registration System (FLRS) which was used for applying and renewing licenses and registrations under FSSA.

The new online platform is conceptualised to provide a one-point stop for all engagements with food business operators with the regulatory department for matters relating to licencing, renewals, modification, and inspection, as well as with provisions to file annual returns.

For food operators in the manufacturing business, the system offers a paradigm change in the shift of methodology of licencing.

This is expected to help manufacturers endorse their products as per the list of standardised products under FSSA, in the licence product category

According to the old FLRS system, for a manufacturer of a particular product like “carbonated water”, the FLRS system would ask to endorse a general beverage category to your license. This new system allows endorsement of exact product in case of all standardised products, and in case of non-standards products, manufacturers will have to opt for proprietary foods category.

The existing manufacturers, re-packers and relabelers will have to make the necessary change to their existing licence by logging in to the new system using the existing user credentials, same user Id and password as used in FLRS, and make the necessary endorsement and modification to their existing license for product category before December 31, 2020, without paying any licence fee.

Categories: NEWS

HC asks FSSAI stand on carbide

4,June, 2020 Leave a comment
 

Hyderabad: Justice T Vinod Kumar of the Telangana high court on Tuesday sought to the stand of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on a petition that charged the police with creating obstacles in the sale of ethylene sachets for artificially ripening fruits like mangos. Following the furore over usage of calcium carbide for the purpose, the FSSAI had banned the use of carbide because it was proved to be harmful.

In its place, it suggested the use of ethylene to ripen the fruits. Stating that though had obtained permission to sell ethylene sachets, police in Telangana are creating hurdles in its sale, SGS International firm approached the high court. We are selling FSSAI approved Ethylene ripening sachets in India for ripening mangos because it was approved by the FSSAI to ripen mango, banana and papaya fruits, the firm’s partner Rajesh Selarkar said in his plea. Though the police booked a case against us in 2018, later they closed it after they received a report from the forensic lab that our sachets are not harmful, he said.

Now the Government of Telangana appears to be supporting a dealer who is selling a similar product with a brand name En-ripe, the petitioner said. In order to support and promote the En-ripe dealer, the Hyderabad Police are publishing banners to not to use the product of SGS International and to use only the product of En-ripe. Now they have again booked cases against the small mango traders, he said. As a similar plea by another firm too was pending with the court, the judge directed the registry to tag it along with the current plea and posted both of them to Wednesday.

Categories: NEWS

Grocery shoppers are being less careful about hygiene as the pandemic goes on. A food safety expert said that’s risky

4,June, 2020 Leave a comment
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People are taking fewer precautions against the coronavirus while grocery shopping, according to new survey data from the International Food Information Council.

An expert says simple precautions are still important, not just to prevent the spread of the coronavirus but also for general food safety.

The survey data also showed people are more concerned now about being able to afford food as the pandemic has affected joblessness and assistance programs.

As the US surpasses three months of lockdowns to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, consumers are starting to ease up on grocery shopping precautions, according to survey data from the International Food Information Council.

The survey, which involved interviews with 1,000 adults in early May, found that fewer people are washing their hands and sanitizing objects and surfaces after shopping than they were in April. At the same time, people reported more anxiety about being able to afford healthy food.That suggests we’ve entered a new phase of quarantine thinking, according to Ali Webster, director of research and nutrition communications at the International Food Information Council.Advertisement

But it’s also concerning because simple precautions can be very effective at preventing the spread of disease, Webster told Insider.

Younger people are less likely to wash their hands and disinfect after they shop, according to the survey

Just 52% of respondents reported washing their hands after a trip to the grocery store, compared with 63% in April. Some 38% percent said they were using hand sanitizer and disinfectant, versus 47% last month. And just 39% said they were trying to minimize their contact with surfaces at the store, compared with half of everyone in April. And slightly fewer people reported trying to limit their grocery trips, too.Webster said these decreases suggest that people are exhausted by the previous level of vigilance in early stages of lockdowns.

"I really think this fatigue is setting in. There’s a sense of wanting to get back to normal and decrease the things that are making things harder for us, since these are additional steps and can get really taxing on the brain over time," she said.Webster said while there could be a false sense of security, particularly among younger people, it’s important to remember that the virus is still highly contagious even among people without symptoms. "In areas not as touched by the virus, people may perceive the risks to be minimal. And there may be a perception of invincibility from younger folks. But they don’t have the interest of the greater good at heart," she said.

It’s true that the risk of becoming ill from grocery items or food packages is extremely low, Webster said, and it’s not necessary to wipe down or sanitize everything you buy.

But simple hygiene like hand washing is still important, she said, not just for preventing the novel coronavirus but as a general best practice for food safety."I don’t think people should be letting up on things like washing hands and disinfecting that are relatively low lifts," Webster said. "Don’t give up now."

Food insecurity is also growing concern, according to the survey

At the same time as people are becoming less worried about contamination, anxiety about being able to afford food is on the rise — 20% of those surveyed said that being able to provide for their family was a top concern, and 38% said they’ve become more aware of their grocery budget compared to before the pandemic.

Webster said that potential factors include high employment rates, as well as an increasing number of people trying to access SNAP and other forms of food assistance. The closure of schools, too, present a problem, as many children have less access to meals served through their district.

Although the data is somewhat positive — people have stopped panic-buying, for the most part, and supply chains appear to have leveled off and alleviated potential shortages — Webster said the economic impact of the pandemic is still clearly influencing how people are able to access food, and that’s not likely to let up anytime soon."The primary concern is the changing economic conditions right now, and reality of how we have to eat differently," she said.

Categories: NEWS

Extension of sales of edible oil in loose in Tamilnadu–Order

4,June, 2020 Leave a comment

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Categories: Advisory

FSSAI -Advisories / Orders

29,May, 2020 Leave a comment
Categories: Advisory