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FSSAI ORDER

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Imported pulses are safe: FSSAI

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New Delhi, Nov 15 () Food safety regulator FSSAI Thursday said imported pulses and beans are safe for consumption as tests conducted in the last one month found no residue of glyphosate in these commodities.

Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide which is used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops.

Last month, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had instructed its import offices at ports to start monitoring for presence of glyphosate in pulses and beans.

"Pulses and beans imported into India are safe. …This is based on results of testing of these products over the past one month," the regulator said in a statement.

The monthly data pertaining to Glyphosate level in pulses received from ports directly handled by the FSSAI was analyzed and it has been observed that of the 319 consignments tested, glyphosate residues were found in only 7 consignments and that too were within the prescribed MRLs, it said.

So, there is no concern of any kind as the FSSAI authorized officers at ports are regularly monitoring the presence of Glyphosate in pulses at the time of import before their clearances, it added.

However, FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal said the monitoring of pulses for glyphosate will continue for some more time.

The FSSAI prescribes Maximum Residue Level (MRL) of 1.0 mg/kg for the presence of Glyphosate in Tea. There are no prescribed MRLs for "Glyphosate" for pulses.Agarwal also mentioned that that FSSAI’s order dated 12 October 2018 to monitor imported pulses was "misreported" by certain sections of media which creates a scare among public at large about safety of pulses.

Categories: NEWS

Imported pulses safe : FSSAI

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The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Thursday said that imported pulses and beans are safe and that based on tests conducted in the past one month it has found no reason for concern regarding the presence of glyphosate in these commodities.

Earlier, FSSAI had instructed its import offices at ports to start monitoring the presence of glyphosate in pulses and beans as these are mainly imported through Mumbai, Chennai and Tuticorin ports.

“After the order dated 12.10.18, monthly data pertaining to glyphosate level in pulses received from ports directly handled by FSSAI was analysed and it has been observed that of the 319 consignments tested, glyphosate residues were found in only 7 consignments and that too were within the prescribed Maximum Residue Levels,” FSSAI it added.

Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI said the food safety regulator will continue monitoring imported pulses for some time till “it is established for sure that there are no residues of glyphosate in imported pulses.”

FSSAI had also directed testing of glyphosate levels in imported pulses as per Codex standards as India does not have its own standards for residue levels in pulses.

Categories: NEWS

Are imported pulses dangerous for you and your family?

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Food safety regulator FSSAI Thursday said imported pulses and beans are safe for consumption as tests conducted in the last one month found no residue of glyphosate in these commodities.

Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide which is used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops.

Food safety regulator FSSAI Thursday said imported pulses and beans are safe for consumption as tests conducted in the last one month found no residue of glyphosate in these commodities. Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide which is used to kill weeds, especially annual broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with crops.

Last month, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) had instructed its import offices at ports to start monitoring for presence of glyphosate in pulses and beans.

"Pulses and beans imported into India are safe. …This is based on results of testing of these products over the past one month," the regulator said in a statement.

The monthly data pertaining to Glyphosate level in pulses received from ports directly handled by the FSSAI was analyzed and it has been observed that of the 319 consignments tested, glyphosate residues were found in only 7 consignments and that too were within the prescribed MRLs, it said.

So, there is no concern of any kind as the FSSAI authorized officers at ports are regularly monitoring the presence of Glyphosate in pulses at the time of import before their clearances, it added. However, FSSAI CEO Pawan Agarwal said the monitoring of pulses for glyphosate will continue for some more time.

The FSSAI prescribes Maximum Residue Level (MRL) of 1.0 mg/kg for the presence of Glyphosate in Tea. There are no prescribed MRLs for "Glyphosate" for pulses.

Agarwal also mentioned that that FSSAI’s order dated 12 October 2018 to monitor imported pulses was "misreported" by certain sections of media which creates a scare among public at large about safety of pulses.

Categories: NEWS

Stay healthy, trade your used cooking oil

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Ahmedabad: Can food-loving Gujaratis heave a sigh of relief when they get to know that their much-beloved dalwada, bhajiya and fafda are not harmful even when purchased from a commercial establishment?

Biodiesel Association of India (BDAI) surely feels so as the national agency signed an MoU with the Food and Drug Control Authority (FDCA), Gujarat, on Friday to completely remove used cooking oil (UCO) from Ahmedabad and Vadodara completely within two years.

The Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSAI) amendment points that the total polarized compound (TPC) value in edible oil must be less than 25%. Re-heating the oil multiple times forms trans fat that leads to a number of health complications. The FDCA had started the drive with an equipment that can measure TPC value — indicating over 40% establishments using the same oil multiple times for frying. However, the officials admitted that few got penalized for violation of norms.

HG Koshia, commissioner, FDCA, Gujarat, said that the initiative aims at introducing healthy habits among citizens and establishments alike. “It is not just about commercial establishments – the application launched (Repurposed Used Cooking Oil (RUCO)) will also be available to citizens. With the establishment of ground-level network, it would be easy to deposit the UCO so that it can be converted into bio-diesel,” he said. Sandeep Chaturvedi, president of BDAI, said that total national oil consumption is about 22.7 million tons annually out of which about 30% is being used by the western India including Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Thus, if we can change the habit in this region, we can do it anywhere. The project is happening for the first time anywhere in the world and we are aware of the challenges ahead. We however are hopeful,” he said. The launch event also saw participation of Poonamchand Parmar, ACS (health), and Kuldeep Arya, deputy municipal commissioner, AMC. The gropu also launched Swasth Bharat Yatra which would start fro Dandi on November 18 and culminate at Palanpur on December 12 during its Gujarat run.

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FSSAI warns against reheat, reuse use of cooking oil

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Ludhiana, November 18

Re-heating and re-using oil for frying is a common practice in most of the Indian households. However, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) warns against the exercise.

In its guidelines issued recently, the FSSAI has stated that one should avoid the repeated use of cooking oil.

Homemakers tend to refill their oil dispensaries with fresh cooking oil while some of the old stock already remains in the dispenser and big companies, involved in the business of frying products, dispose of their used cooking oil (UCO) for industrial purposes such as manufacturing soaps. Discarding the UCO in household becomes problematic because if it is drained off, it leads of choking of sewers and pipes. The FSSAI has notified that the limit of total polar compounds in oil should not be more than 25 per cent as it helps in the safe disposal of the UCO.

The FSSAI recommends that one should avoid the repeated use of cooking oil at household level and oil once used for frying should be filtered and be used for preparing curry to make it economical. Used cooking oil should be consumed in a day or two as the rate of deterioration is higher in it. /The UCO should be disposed of in an environment-friendly way — by providing it to the authorised UCO collection agencies. In order to dispose off small quantities at household level, it should be mixed with absorbent material such as sand or saw dust or used towel or paper towel to avoid spillage and then throw it in the dustbin.

City-based physician Dr Subhash Gupta said when the oil is used frying, its quality deteriorates. “Using the same oil repeatedly for frying leads to change in its physico-chemical nutritional and sensory properties. It leads to the formation of compounds unfit for human consumption beyond certain limits. These compounds have been related to various diseases such as hypertension, liver diseases and Alzheimer,” he said.

Categories: NEWS

Trans fat in eatery foods to be reined in

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Health, Food Safety wings to collect samples, convince food outlets on need for curbs in trans fatty acids

The Health Department and the Food Safety wing are joining hands to launch an initiative to enforce dietary guidelines, involving the reduction of trans fatty acids (TFAs), salt and sugar in commercially available foods in the State.

The initiative, with technical support from the World Bank, WHO and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), is being launched as unhealthy diet is pushing up metabolic syndrome and premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) among Keralites.

Latest estimates put the prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MS) in Keralabetween 24-33%, indicating that one in three or four persons — predominantly women — have this condition.

Metabolic syndrome (MS) is a cluster of metabolic abnormalities — high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abdominal obesity, abnormal cholesterol or triglyceride levels — that occur together, raising risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

“A striking factor in Kerala is the high level of hypertriglyceridemia (elevated triglycerides in blood), at 45%, indicative of a dietary pattern high in fats and carbohydrates. We require serious interventions in dietary changes to reduce our burden of NCDs,” said P.S. Indu, Head of Community Medicine, Thiruvananthapuram Government Medical College.

Literature says that TFAs have “a unique cardio metabolic imprint that is linked to insulin-resistance and metabolic-syndrome pathways” and that consumption of even small amounts of TFAs is associated with an increase in the incidence of coronary heart disease.

Main contributors

“The high content of industrial TFAs and salt in baked goods, fried chicken, or banana chips joints in the State is contributing to this epidemic of MS in Kerala. Enforcing the current regulation on the content of industrial TFAs in can bring in significant benefits,” Dr. Indu said.

WHO recommends that trans fat intake be limited to less than 1% of total energy intake and has called for the total elimination of TFAs in global food supply by 2023. FSSAI has proposed to limit TFA limit in foods to 2% and eliminate trans fats from foods by 2022.

“Enforcing the current FSSAI legislation limiting TFAs at 5% is the need of the hour. Denmark pioneered trans fat ban in 2003 and in three years, their CVD mortality rates plummeted. From an annual mean death of 441.5 per one lakh it dropped by 14.2 deaths per one lakh per year (ie 750 fewer deaths every year). Food industry players and the unorganised food sector should be persuaded to switch to commercially viable alternatives to TFAs,” Eram S. Rao, Senior Nutrition Specialist, World Bank, who was in the city as part of the technical support team, said.

“We will collect information on the TFA and sodium content in a range of commonly consumed food items in Kerala. This information is vital if we are to convince the industry and the unorganised sector about the need to reduce harmful TFA content in food,” a Health official said.

The State Food Safety wing will now embark on a sample study across the State, collecting at least 300 samples of popular food items from the market and testing the TFA content. We do have gas chromatographs in three of our laboratories and additionally,we have the funds to send samples to any other lab for testing,” K. Anilkumar, Joint Commissioner of Food Safety said.

The Health Department hopes that once it has the baseline information, it can convince the food industry players and the unorganised food sector about the need to keep TFA levels within legal limits. Awareness campaigns targeting the public and advocacy will follow.

Categories: NEWS