Archive for 18,September, 2015

Safety of packaged food

18,September, 2015 Comments off

Expressing serious concern over widespread panic being created by the FSSAI and several state government authorities over safety of all types of packaged and branded food, ASSOCHAM has written to Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi seeking his immediate intervention, stating that an investment of Rs 90,000 crore could be jeopardized because of consumer distrust being spread by the government machinery after withdrawal of Maggi from the market.

“Recent incidences of food recall coupled with onslaught in media has shaken confidence of the industry thereby risking an investment of over Rs 90,000 crores and an estimated export of over US$40 billion, which will impact livelihoods, farmers, agri-wastages, inflation and moreover investment climate in India,” ASSOCHAM said in a letter to the Prime Minister.

It said in recent weeks the Indian processed food industry has come in for considerable negative publicity. The FSSAI action in the case of the Maggi brand of noodles, has been followed by a spate of notices issued by various State authorities to several other manufacturers across the country, accompanied by simultaneous press statements.

This has spawned numerous stories in the media to the effect that all brands of noodles are unsafe for consumption, creating a climate of alarm and distrust in the minds of the consumers about packaged noodles as a whole. Moreover, various state officials have been ordering removal of all brands of noodles from the retail shelves, the chamber said in the letter to the Prime Minister.

“Now, the consumer distrust is spilling over to other food categories as well. As a result of the recent events, an impression is gaining ground amongst the public that all branded packaged foods in India are unsafe”.

The industry is witnessing a gradual shut-down of factories across the entire value-chain, many of which are in the small and medium sectors, adversely impacting employment. In addition, this is bound to impact farm incomes given that bulk of the ingredients are agri-products. The damage suffered by the industry on account of this in the last few weeks is enormous and will take many months to recover from”, it said.

While the current controversy emanated from the presence of MSG (mono sodium glutamate) in certain food items, is a permitted additive to foods. It is present in many items like tomato, green peas, corn, onion, milk, parmesan cheese etc. The FSS Act, 2006 requires that where MSG is added to a food product, it must be so declared.

Glutamic acid is a component of proteins and comprises some 20 per cent. of ingested protein. Much is known about its metabolism in various animal species. During gastrointestinal absorptiontransamination to alanine occurs. As a consequence there is only a slight rise in glutamate levels in the portal blood. A similarmechanism probably also occurs in man. However, if the capacity ofthis mechanism and the further conversion of glutamate in the liver is overwhelmed, or if monosodium glutamate is administered parenterally in large doses, it is possible to obtain significantly high blood levels. For primates and man it has been demonstrated that blood levels of glutamate are higher in the foetus compared with the mother,particularly during the early phases of foetal development. Recentdata show that after glutamate loading of the mother, the full term prenatal rat foetus has less glutamate in its circulation than existsin the maternal circulation.

Numerous reproduction studies in mice, rats and rabbits revealedno deleterious effects on the offspring if the parent generation wasfed glutamate in high doses, suggesting that an earlier claim of teratogenic effects in the rabbits was not related to glutamateadministration. There is evidence that glutamate administeredparenterally or orally is retinotoxic but only during a brief period of neonatal life and not in utero or after weaning.

Work using subcutaneous injection suggests a vulnerability of thedeveloping mouse, rat and primate central nervous system to highlevels of glutamate in addition to other amino acids. Attempts atreproducing these effects after oral administration were successfulonly in mouse by the use of high doses.

Acute reactions reported after ingestion of glutamate as foodadditive are probably due to the rapid absorption of large mounts ofthe substance. These occur fairly frequently, and particularlysensitive persons develop Kwok’s disease.On the data provided by the research done it is possible to arrive at a formal acceptable daily intake making allowance for the fact that glutamate is a normal constituent of protein. In arriving at the ADI the acutereactions due to rapid absorption have been taken into consideration.In view of the uncertainty regarding the possible susceptibility ofthe very early human neonate to high oral intakes of glutamate, it would be prudent not to add monosodium glutamate to foods specificallyintended for infants under one year of age. When the further work on this aspect has become available, it may be possible to arrive at an acceptable daily intake for these infants as well.

“It is important to note that the presence of MSG does not mean that the product is unsafe for consumption. In fact, MSG is generally recognized as safe by US FDA, UN FAO and WHO”.

However, based on the FSSAI’s view, some state authorities have been coercing retailers to remove all such packages of noodles that carry the phrase “no added MSG” from the shelves.

The Government should clearly lay down guidelines, in the interest of justice and fairness, to ensure that the authorities refrain from making press statements and taking any coercive action even before an adjudicatory process under the law has concluded. Such guidelines be urgently communicated to the State food officials to save the industry which can increase 5-fold to Rs 5.65 lakh crores by 2030. The food products generate the highest employment, currently providing over 48 million employment in industry, apart from another 25 million in logistics, transportation and so on.

Categories: NEWS

Food Safety Offices Planned in All Assembly Constituencies

18,September, 2015 Comments off
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The state government was planning to establish food safety offices in all the Assembly constituencies in the state, Health Minister V S Sivakumar said on Thursday.

“The government has also plans to bring anganwadi, school and hostel canteens under the registration and licensing regime prescribed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI),” he said while inaugurating a function organised for signing an MoU between the Food Safety Commissionerate, Kerala, and the Central Food Technological Research Institute (CFTRI), Mysore.

The collaboration with CFTRI would enable the state to raise its food safety labs to international standards, Sivakumar said.‘’The MoU will help us upgrade the labs and strengthen analysis. Steps have been taken to strengthen enforcement. But modernisation and uplift of facilities should go hand in hand,’’ Food Safety Commissioner T V Anupama said. CFTRI director Ram Rajasekharan stressed the need to raise awareness among the public on issues related to safe food. Health Secretary K Elangovan, who presided over the function, said that the MoU with CFTRI would help enhance the performance of the food safety wing at a time when the ‘hygienic food safe food’ concept was gaining currency among the public. Chief Government Analyst (in-charge) S T Thankachan, Food Safety Joint Commissioner K Anil Kumar, Food Safety scientist, CFTRI, Dr Asha Martin, and CFTRI administrative officer Mallika P Kumar were also present.

Categories: NEWS

கோவையில் தூசுக்கள் நிறைந்த குளிர்பானம்: பொதுமக்கள் அதிர்ச்சி

18,September, 2015 Comments off

கோவையில் குளிர்பானத்தில் தூசுக்கள் நிறைந்து காணப்பட்ட சம்பவம் பொதுமக்களை அதிர்ச்சியடைய வைத்துள்ளது. 
கோவை உடையாம்பாளையத்தைச் சேர்ந்தவர் வாசுதேவன். சுய தொழில் புரிந்து வரும் இவர், நேற்று மதியம் வீட்டின் அருகே உள்ள மளிகை கடையில் குளிர்பானம் வாங்கியுள்ளார். அந்த குளிர்பானம் முழுவதும் தூசுக்கள் நிறைந்து காணப்பட்டதை கண்டு அவர் அதிர்ச்சியடைந்தார். 
இது தொடர்பாக, உணவு பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகளிடம் அவர் இன்று புகார் அளிக்க உள்ளதாகக் கூறினார். இந்த குளிர்பானம் இன்னும் காலாவதியாகவில்லை. மே மாதம் பேக் செய்யப்பட்ட இந்த குளிர்பானத்தை நவம்பர் மாதம் வரை பயன்படுத்தலாம் என குளிர்பானத்தில் குறிப்பிடப்பட்டுள்ளது.

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Categories: Coimbatore, DISTRICT-NEWS