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அரசு அலுவலர்கள் மற்றும் நுகர்வோர் அமைப்பினர் இணைந்து அயோடின் உப்பு தயாரிப்பு பகுதிகளில் ஆய்வு

11,June, 2018 Comments off

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அயோடின் சத்து மனித வாழ்வுக்கு இன்றியமையாது தேவைப்படும் ஒரு நுண்ணூட்டச் சத்து ஆகும்.  இந்த சத்து மனிதனுக்கு அன்றாடம் தேவைப்படுகின்றது.  இயற்கையாக கிடைத்து வந்த அயோடின் மண் அரிப்பின் காரணமாகவும், இயற்கை சீற்றங்களின் காரணமாகவும் தற்போது போதிய அளவு கிடைப்பதில்லை.  ஆதலால் இந்திய அரசு இந்த அயோடின் சத்தினை மக்களுக்கு கிடைக்கச்செய்திட உணவிற்கான உப்பில் அயோடின் கலந்து அளிக்க முடிவு செய்து உணவிற்காக விற்பனைச் செய்யப்படும் உப்பில் கட்டாயம் அயோடின் சேர்க்க வேண்டும் என்று வலியுறுத்தி வருவதோடு உணவுப்பாதுகாப்புச் சட்டத்திலும் இதனை சட்டமாக இயற்றியுள்ளது.  
அயோடின் சத்து பற்றாக்குறையால் குழந்தைகளின் உடல் மற்றும் மூளை வளர்ச்சி பாதிக்கப்படுவது மட்டுமல்லாமல் அறிவு மந்தம் ஏற்படுவதால் அவர்களின் கற்றல் திறனும் குறைகின்றது.  குழந்தை இறந்து பிறத்தல், உடல் ஊனம், அதீத உடல் சோர்வு, முன் கழுத்து கழலை போன்றவையும் அயோடின் குறைபாட்டினால் ஏற்படுகின்றது.
நாகை மாவட்டம் வேதாரண்யம் தமிழ்நாட்டின் இரண்டாவது பெரிய உப்பு உற்பத்தி செய்யும் இடமாகும்.  இங்கிருந்து அண்டை மாவட்டங்களுக்கும் மற்றும் பிற மாநிலங்களுக்கும் உணவுக்கான உப்பு விற்பனைக்கு அனுப்பப்படுகின்றது.  தமிழ்நாடு நுகர்வோர் பாதுகாப்பு மற்றும் சுற்றுச்சூழல் ஆராய்ச்சி மையம் சார்பில் உப்பு உற்பத்தி பகுதி மற்றும் விற்பனை பகுதியில் உணவிற்காக விற்பனை செய்யும் உப்பு மாதிரிகளை எடுத்து ஆய்வு செய்து அறிக்கையினை உப்பு உற்பத்தி பகுதி மாவட்ட நிர்வாகத்திற்கும் உணவுப்பாதுகாப்புத்துறைக்கும் தெரிவித்து வருகின்றது.  உப்பு உற்பத்தி பகுதியில்  உணவிற்கான உப்பில் அயோடின் கலக்கப்படாமல் உப்பு பொட்டலமிடப்பட்டு விற்பனைக்கு அனுப்பப்படுவதாக எமது அமைப்பு அளித்த புகார்களின் அடிப்படையில் நாகை மாவட்ட ஆட்சியர் மற்றும் மாவட்ட அயோடின் உப்பு கண்காணிப்புக்குழு தலைவர் திரு.சுரேஸ்குமார் அவர்களின் உத்தரவின் பேரில் நாகை மாவட்ட உணவுப்பாதுகாப்பு நியமன அலுவலர் டாக்டர் செல்வராஐ;, தொழிலாளர் துறை உதவி ஆணையர் (அமலாக்கம்) திரு.பாஸ்கரன், உணவுப் பாதுகாப்பு அலுவலர்கள் திரு.பாலகுரு, திரு,கோதண்டபாணி, திரு.ஆண்டனி பிரபு  மற்றும் தொழிலாளர் உதவி ஆய்வாளர் திரு.கார்த்திகேயன்   ஆகியோர் வேதாரண்யம் உப்பளப் பகுதியில் ஆய்வு மேற்கொண்டனர்.  அயோடின் கண்காணிப்புகுழு நுகர்வோர் அமைப்பின் பிரதிநிதியான தமிழ்நாடு நுகர்வேர் மற்றும் சுற்றுச்சூழல் பாதுகாப்பு மையத்தை சேர்ந்த திருநாவுக்கரசும் உடனிருந்தார்;.
ஆய்வின்போது முழு முகவரி பிரசுரிக்கப்படாத பாக்கெட்டுகளில் உணவிற்கான உப்பு அடைத்து விற்பனைக்கு அனுப்பப்படுவதும் மற்றும் போதிய அளவு அயோடின் கலக்கப்படாமல் உணவு உப்பு தயாரிக்கப்பட்டு வருவதும் கண்டறியப்பட்டது.  உணவுப்பாதுகாப்புச் சட்டத்திலிருந்து தப்பித்துக்கொள்வதற்காக அயோடின் போதுமான அளவு கலக்காத உப்பை “பதப்படுத்துவதற்கான உப்பு” என பொட்டலமிட்டு ஆனால் உணவுக்காக விற்பனைக்கு அனுப்பப்படுவதும் கண்டறியப்பட்டது.  வேதாரண்யம் பகுதியில் எடுக்கப்பட்ட 7 நிறுவனங்களின் உப்பு மாதிரிகள் அனைத்தும் அரசு அங்கீகாரம் பெற்ற ஆய்வுக் கூடத்திற்கு ஆய்வுக் கூட சோதனைக்கு அனுப்பியதில் அனைத்தும் 5 பி.பி.எம். அளவினை விட குறைவாகவே உள்ளது கண்டறியப்பட்டுள்ளது.  உணவுப்பாதுகாப்புச் சட்டத்தின் படி உப்பு உற்பத்தி பகுதியில் 30 பி.பி.எம். அளவிற்கு குறையக் கூடாது என தெரிவிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.  மேற்கண்ட நிறுவனங்கள் பெரும்பாலும் தொழிலாளர் துறையில் பெற வேண்டிய பாக்கர் உரிமமும் பெறவில்லை மேலும் உணவுப்பாதுகாப்புத்துறையில் பெற வேண்டிய உரிமம் பெறவில்லை என்பதையும் கண்டறியமுடிந்தது.
இந்த ஆய்வு முடிவுகளை நாகை மாவட்ட ஆட்சியருக்கும், உணவுப்பாதுகாப்பு ஆணையர் மற்றும் தொழிலாளர் துறை ஆணையர் ஆகியோருக்கு அறிக்கையாக அனுப்பி நடவடிக்கை எடுக்க இருப்பதாக நுகர்வோர் அமைப்பின் தலைவர் முனைவர்.S.D.அண்ணாதுரை மற்றும் பொதுச்செயலர் திரு.R.ரமேஷ் ஆகியோர் தனது அறிக்கையில் தெரிவித்துள்ளனர்.

FSSAI plans to make fortification of edible oil mandatory across India

11,June, 2018 Comments off

FSSAI is planning to make fortification of edible oil mandatory across India. The country’s apex food regulator is actively considering this move and has held discussions with the stakeholders in the recent past. In a couple of months, it plans to put forth the strategy for the same.
Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI, opined that the time had come for the mandatory fortification of packaged edible oil. However, as of now, it is not binding upon companies to fortify their offerings.
“Already 47 per cent of the refined packaged edible oils are fortified nationally. Food fortification is cost-effective and sustainable strategy. The cost incurred on food fortification is very little,” he added.
“The regime of fortification of edible oil should start soon. Transition is not difficult, and  technology is easily available by both government and various bodies,” Agarwal said.
“FSSAI also has a dedicated team at its headquarters to help with the process. Even groups like TATA and the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN) have developed programmes to help with fortification of edible oil,” he added.
According to GAIN, an international organisation which was launched by the United Nations (UN) in 2002 to tackle the human suffering caused by malnutrition, over 80 per cent of India’s population consumes less than 50 per cent of their recommended daily allowance (RDA).
Fifty to 90 per cent population suffers from Vitamin D deficiency, and 61.8 per cent of the population has sub-clinical Vitamin A deficiency, making it a public health concern.
Dietary sources of Vitamin D are limited. Hence, it is difficult for people to meet their daily requirements of Vitamin D through dietary diversification.
The fortification of edible oil with Vitamins A and D is, thus, an effective complementary strategy to fill the gap between a person’s daily requirements and consumption, as edible oil has a household penetration of over 99 per cent.
Meanwhile, Rajasthan and Haryana are two states in the country which have already mandated fortification of edible oil.
Globally, the fortification of edible oil has already been taken up by several countries.
T Longvah, director in-charge, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, said, “There are 27 countries across the globe which have already mandated the fortification of edible oil. These include Bolivia, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania. According to sporadic studies, there is a high prevelance of Vitamin A and D deficiency in India.
Further, FSSAI is also considering mandating the fortification of milk as well in the second phase.
Agarwal said, “Along with oil, we should look forward to and take into consideration the fortification of milk as well. Various milk cooperatives, like the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB), Amul, Mother Dairy, etc., are showing great interest. We are seeing significant growth in the fortified packaged milk segment. For instance, Prabhat Dairy has nicely covered the eastern region.”
Longvah said, “So far, 14 countries have mandated milk fortification. These include the United States, Canada, Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Malaysia, Thailand, Finland, Sweden, etc.”
“Both Vitamins A and D are very essential for our body. Thus, by slowly gaining more experience in the fortification of milk, the mandate might be for the fortification of milk as well,” Agarwal added.
It would be appropriate to note that the food authority, in the past, put out standards and guidelines for fortification of edible oil and milk, and also issued a logo for fortified food on the food package for the consumer to easily recognise the product.
Many renowned companies in various segments, like milk and oil, are ready to adopt food fortification techniques, and the Central government is also supporting the move by providing fortified food through its schemes like the Mid-day Meal (MDM) scheme.
The food authority also hoped that industry will also show similar interest in the fortification of other staples, like rice, wheat and salt. India should come forward now in the fortification field.

Categories: NEWS

FDA Maharashtra unveils hygiene rating, street clean food hub initiatives

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Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra launched the hygiene rating (score on door), responsible place to eat and Street Clean Food Hub initiatives on the occasion of World Food Safety Day at the MMRDA hall, Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Mumbai. These were the first of its pan-India moves.
The initiative was launched in the presence of Pawan Kumar Agarwal, chief executive officer, FSSAI; Pallavi Darade, commissioner, FDA Maharashtra, Girish Bapat, minister for food, civil supplies and consumer protection, food and drugs administration and parliamentary affairs, Government of Maharashtra, and chef Sanjeev Kapoor.
Agarwal stated that though it was a move by the country’s apex food regulator, Maharashtra will be the first state to implement these initiatives.
Hygiene ratings
FDA Maharashtra will rate the restaurants in the city on the basis of hygiene and six parameters -promoting personal hygiene, healthy eating and safe water handling; effective handling of complaints,  permitting transparent kitchens or kitchen visits and donating surplus food. Restaurants need to put their hygiene scores on their doors, so the consumers can judge them on the basis of their ratings.
Agarwal informed, “Hygiene rating  has been adopted in many countries like the United Kingdom and has been successful. Initially, it will not be mandatory but voluntary for food joint owners. The success of this initiative will be achieved when visitors ensure that they eat at restaurants with good ratings.”
This pilot project will be carried out in Mumbai, Nagpur and Pune. As of now, 30 restaurants have been given rating certificate in the first round. Of these, 15 are from Mumbai, 10 are from Pune and five are from Nagpur.
Sankalp Hotel, Nagpur, was one of the eateries that received the rating certificate. Sawan Bhatewara, its  owner, stated that it was great to receive it in the first round. An official from FDA Maharashtra used to visit the premises and conduct random checks and inspections to ascertain that all the things were in place, and most importantly, the hygiene factor was kept in mind.
Responsible place to eat
Darade stated, “The responsible place to eat will be an area-specific approach. As of now, we have considered the Thane region for the pilot plan.”
Clean street food hubs
Another initiative, the state FDA declared was about the clean street food hubs. Also in the initial stages of the plan, the FDA is working with various related associations in four zones, namely Juhu Chowpatty and Girgaum Chowpatty in Mumbai, Saras Baug in Pune and Phutara Talaav in Nagpur.
“We have already conducted activities for training and capacity-building of the street food vendors, but problems like the absence of clean water supply are bigger challenges. Hence, based on an approved framework, we will conduct a gap analysis and try to resolve the problems,” the FDA Maharashtra commissioner stated.
The state FDA website was also revamped and launched at the event. Through the Maha-FosNet initiative, which has been added to the portal, activities such as licensing and registration,  sampling, testing, issuing notices, suspensions and cancellations will be undertaken.
Food fortification
Talking about the food fortification scenario in India, Agarwal informed, “The cost incurred on food fortification is very little. And it is very necessary now that the country goes for fortified products.”
“Many renowned companies in various segments like milk and oil are ready to adopt food fortification techniques, and the Central government is also supporting the move by providing fortified food through its schemes like the Mid-day Meal (MDM) scheme. The food authority has, therefore, issued fortified logo (+F) on the food package,” he added.
Agarwal stated, “The time has come for the mandatory fortification of refined packaged edible oil. And FSSAI is working towards the same in the next two or three months. Along with edible oils, even the fortification of milk can be made mandatory soon.”
Kapoor promoted the need for hygienic and safe food, stating that there has been a huge transformation in the working of the food bodies. Food business operators (FBOs) used to avoid such bodies earlier, but now they are all working together.
He announced a free promotion on his television channel, Food Food, for a sum of Rs 25 lakh and a period of six months, to help FDA Maharashtra in their initiatives.
T Longvah, director, National Institute of Nutrition (NIN), Hyderabad, made a technical presentation on the need and role of fortification.
He said, “Though Maharashtra is the leading state in terms of commercialisation and development, but this is not the case with nutrition. There is no adequate food and nutrition among the people in the state.”
“The Green Revolution has led to increased calorie availability, but dietary diversity has suffered. Food to nutrition security is a very bumpy road, and India is known to be suffering from the triple burden of malnutrition,” Longvah said.

Categories: NEWS

Indian Railways to replace plastic with compostable biodegradable cutlery

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In a major effort to introduce environment-friendly practices, Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), a subsidiary of the Indian Railways, has now embarked on a project to replace its plastic cutlery with cups and plates made of biodegradable compostable material.
For this, it has teamed up with Yash Papers, India’s largest manufacturer of compostable paper, for this project. It has introduced backyard compostable tableware, under the Chuk brand, aboard various Shatabadi, Duronto and Rajdhani trains.
The objective of using compostable tableware is a part of the Railways’ drive to go green. Passengers are being served meals in compostable plates and bowls instead of the polymer ones.
Initially, the pilot project has been introduced in 32 premier trains by the railway ministry, which is expected to be scaled up to other trains after the successful completion of the pilot project.
On the occasion of World Environment Day 2018, IRCTC launched the trial run of environment-friendly bagasse-based food packaging on eight select Shatabdis and Rajdhanis originating from New Delhi.
“IRCTC, with this new initiative, reaffirmed its commitment to a cleaner and greener India, and has taken a small step in this direction to achieve the same,” stated its senior officials.
Bagasse, the fibrous remains left behind after extracting sugarcane juice, is used to make the disposable cutlery and containers in which meals will be served. Provisions will be made to collect the used packaging, which will then be processed for disposal through composting to ensure environmental sustainability.
The endeavour after the initial trails is to progressively introduce bagasse-based packaging as a viable alternative to the non bio-degradable material being currently used on all Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Duranto trains managed by IRCTC in the coming months.
Sugarcane fibre makes the tableware products lightweight, flexible, microwavable and leak-proof. The design has been conceptualised keeping in mind the Indian market.

Categories: NEWS

Food safety goes for a toss as adulterated oil trading thrives

11,June, 2018 Comments off
 

The recent raids conducted by the food safety department at food processing units have brought to light the trend of adulterated, inferior quality food items, edible oil and artificially ripened fruits being supplied to the city markets on a large-scale. The latest being the seizure of 15,000 litres of adulterer edible oil from a large-scale manufacturing unit in Madurai city on Wednesday night. The officials have closed down the unit, which was functioning at Hunuman Nagar in Chinthamani and samples collected are send to Chennai for testing.

This is the second such seizure in Madurai. Earlier, more than 4,000 litres of adulterated oil was seized at Alwarpuram near Goripalayam. According to officials, the seizures could be just the tip of the iceberg. They believe that the quantity seized on Wednesday could be just a day’s production and the product could have been in use for long, as the unit has been functioning for many years. Officials said that thousands of litres of adulterated oil could still be in retail stores.

Probably for the first time in Madurai the officials have seized the flavours used to ‘convert’ palmolein into groundnut and gingili oils. The seizure includes 10 litres of essence imported from Malaysia.

A team of food safety officials led by designated officer for food safety, Madurai district, Dr M Somasundaram conducted a search in the unit, which has been silently functioning in a 5,000 square feet space amid various other factories. "Everybody knows adulteration takes place in oil and sold at cheaper price. This is the first time that we could find essences used for adulteration. They were hidden inside a godown in a house belongs to the manufacturer," said Somasundaram.

The adulterated oil is packed in various quantities from 50 ml to 5 litres. While one litre of palmolein costs around Rs 70, the repacked oil after adding the essence is sold for more than Rs 100. It was found in two brands – Amutham and Maan. Officials said that the manufacturer has tried to play it safe by mentioning on the sachet of Amutham brand that the oil is for external use only. But the letters are very small to notice and it is not in Tamil. But in the Maan brand there is no such ‘warning’.

Talking about the health hazards of the oil, Dr Somasundaram said that while a litre of good quality groundnut oil is sold at Rs 200 and gingili oil at Rs 300, they have priced them around just Rs 100. People tend to be misguided and purchase them. When the price is just the half, they tend to use more oil in cooking, which will result in heart problems, stroke, obesity and diabetes. High consumption of a quantity of adulterated oil can also cause infertility, if used for a longer period of time.

Somasundaram said that they have warned retailers to be wary of these brands and have urged them to take it off the shelf. "Stringent action would be taken against the retailers also if they found to be selling adulterated oil. It is their duty to ensure quality," he warned.

Categories: NEWS

State wants ‘khaini’ covered under food safety Act

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PATNA: The Bihar health department plans to write to the Union health ministry, requesting it to include ‘khaini’ as a food product under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

‘Khaini’ is said to be a pure form of tobacco. Tobacco per se is not banned. Pure tobacco is not covered by the food safety wing.

Confirming the state health department’s move, department’s principal secretary Sanjay Kumar said on Thursday there was also a need to create awareness through different mediums about the harmful effects of tobacco.

Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic and Educational Development Society (SEEDS), an organisation collaborating in the state government’s effort to control tobacco use, on Thursday wrote to the state health department to include ‘khaini’ as a food product under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

“Khaini is the most prevalent form of smokeless tobacco used in Bihar. As per the Global Adult Tobacco Survey-2 of 2016-17, 25.9% of the state’s population use tobacco in different forms and 20.4% of them are addicted to ‘khaini’,” SEEDS executive director Deepak Mishra told this reporter.

The Centre had formed a Drug Abuse Prevention Task Force earlier this year. The first meeting of the task force chaired by Union health ministry secretary Preeti Sudan was held in Delhi on Thursday.

“Three civil societies, including SEEDS, have been roped in to support the task force. I presented a similar motion against ‘khaini’ at the meeting. The secretary asked FSSAI officials to look into the possibility of accepting ‘khaini’ as a food product,” Mishra said.

The state health department’s food safety wing on May 21 this year banned the manufacture, sale, and distribution of guthka and pan masala (with tobacco and nicotine) for the next one year.

Earlier, the State Health Society Bihar, in order to curb consumption of tobacco by minors at hookah bars and sheesha lounges, had issued a letter to all the DMs and civil surgeons to shut down all the illegal lounges in the state. It had also asked the authorities concerned in the districts to remove hoardings and banners advertising tobacco products.

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Categories: NEWS

Food safety regulator looking at stricter penalty for offenders

11,June, 2018 Comments off
 

The FSSAI is looking to amend the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.

The penalty and punishments that will be given to offenders will be significantly stricter than they are at present.

India’s food regulator, the Food Safety and Standards Association of India, is looking to amend the standards for food items to tightening the noose around offending food business operators, including manufacturers, sellers and distributors, sources said.

The FSSAI is looking to amend the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, in order to revise the penalty structure, meaning the penalty and punishments that will be given to offenders will be significantly stricter than they are at present.

For instance, under the current structure, the penalty for selling misbranded or sub-standard food stands at between Rs 3-5 lakh.

Penalty in this bracket is likely to be hiked significantly. There are some changes that the authority is working on with regards to punishment as well. Businesses caught selling unsafe food resulting in both death-like situation and death could receive life imprisonment and an increase in fine.

At present, the punishment for unsafe food resulting in death is life imprisonment and Rs 10 lakh fine and the punishment for unsafe food resulting in grievous injury or death-like situation is imprisonment of 6 years and Rs 5 lakh fine.

This revision in penalty structure comes at a time when food adulteration rates in India are still significantly high.

Data sourced from FSSAI annual reports shows that, food adulteration rate in India has almost doubled over the last 5 years. Food adulteration rate in India stood at 23% in 2016-17 compared to 13% in 2011-12.The final contours of the penalty & punishment structure are still being finalised at this point. These changes proposed by the FSSAI could take about 4-6 months to come into effect.

Categories: NEWS

Nitish targets ‘khaini’, mulls ban on chewable tobacco

11,June, 2018 Comments off
 

Consumption of khaini, a processed tobacco product has been found to be one of the major causes of oral cancer in Bihar,

Two years after the ban on liquor, the Bihar government has planned to ban the sale and consumption of khaini (a processed tobacco product) in the State.

The government has written to the Union Health Ministry to notify khaini as a food product.

Consumption of khaini has been found to be one of the major causes of oral cancer in Bihar.

Speaking to media persons, Health Secretary Sanjay Kumar said khaini was pure tobacco and if the Central government approved the recommendation by the State government, “it will be regulated under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).”

Widespread addiction

The NGO Socio-Economic and Educational Development Society (SEEDS), too, is said to have written to the Union Health Ministry to include khaini as a food product under the FSSAI.

According to the Global Adult Tobacco Survey-II, 2016-17, altogether 25.9% of Bihar’s population use tobacco in different forms and 20.4% of them are addicted to khaini.

On May 21, the Bihar government banned the manufacture, sale and distribution of gutkha and pan masala (with tobacco and nicotine) for a year.

Categories: NEWS

Officials keep an eye on mangoes

11,June, 2018 Comments off
 

Testing time: Food Safety Officer I. Dhanaraju, along with his colleagues, inspects mangoes at a shop near Goubert Market at J.N. Street in Puducherry; seized mangoes loaded in a vehicle.

500 kg of artificially ripened fruit seized from a godown at Bharathi Street in a recent raid

With juicy mangoes flooding the market, Food Safety department officials reckon that the time is ripe for carrying out checks on the quality of the popular fruit.

Recently, a team of officials headed by the Food Safety officer I. Dhanraju seized 500 kg of artificially ripened mangoes from a godown inside a shop at Bharathi Street.

Mr. Dhanraju said that they had conducted raids in 17 shops at Nehru Street and three shops at Bharathi Street as a part of the seasonal routine work. During the raid, the officials found that mangoes were ripened using calcium carbide, a chemical substance. On searching a godown, four packets of sachets, each weighing 25 gm were concealed in seven trays of mangoes.

The traders purchase mangoes from Marakkanam, Vennangupattu, Kottikadu and other dealers from Tamil Nadu in bulk and use chemicals to boost up the sales during the peak season. “The mangoes will be destroyed and the shopkeeper will charged under rule 44AA of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act where artificial ripening agents are not permitted,” said the officer.

Such tactics had been around at least for over a decade, but over the last four years there was a decline in the usage of calcium carbide thanks to frequent department raids. The periodic raids had been a major deterrent to traders resorting to unfair practices which were also a health hazard to consumers, an official said.

Besides, these days awareness among consumers about the harmful effects of consuming artificially ripened fruits has also improved, officials said.

Categories: NEWS