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 3 September 2014


                               NATIONAL NUTRITION WEEK – SEPT  1 – 7

Have A Healthy Day


Farm to Fork Food Safety – a research oriented science concept  based on integration of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP), Good Hygienic Practices (GHP) and Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)  – is the basis for Safe and Healthy food

This blog attempts to enrich the knowledge of various stake holders in Food chain with  emphasis on world class technologies

Food for thought

Thirukkural – திருக்குறள்

அதிகாரம்/Chapter/Adhigaram: சுற்றந் தழால்/Cherishing Kinsmen/Sutrandhazhaal 53
இயல்/ChapterGroup/Iyal: அரசியல்/Royalty/Arasiyal 5
பால்/Section/Paal: பொருட்பால்/Wealth/Porutpaal 2
குறள் 527
காக்கை கரவா கரைந்துண்ணும் ஆக்கமும்
அன்னநீ ரார்க்கே உள
தனக்குக் கிடைத்ததை மறைக்காமல் தனது சுற்றத்தைக் கூவி அழைத்துக் காக்கை உண்ணும் அந்தக் குணம் உடையவர்களுக்கு மட்டுமே உலகில் உயர்வு உண்டு
Couplet 527
The crows conceal not, call their friends to come, then eat;
Increase of good such worthy ones shall meet
The crows do not conceal (their prey), but will call out for others (to share with them) while they eat it; wealth will be with those who show a similar disposition (towards their relatives)
Kaakkai Karavaa Karaindhunnum Aakkamum
Annanee Raarkke Ula
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Posted by on April 19, 2013 in Pest Management Training


Top nutritional deficiencies in India

September 1-7 is National Nutrition Week

It’s difficult to explain the Indian diet or cuisine due to the cultural diversity and varied geographical features in different parts of the country. However, the Indian diet largely comprises of cereals, pulses, vegetables, fats, milk and milk products that offer all essential nutrients required for proper growth and development. Yet, more than 50% of the Indian population is under-nourished. In fact, India ranks number one in terms of low birth weight infants at an estimated 7.4 million undernourished kids.

While nutritional deficiencies prevail in rural areas, changes in lifestyle and the dramatic shift to unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity has caused nutritional deficiencies to spread like an epidemic in urban areas as well. Even after sixty six years of independence, India has still to battle these top seven nutritional deficiencies.

Vitamin D deficiency

Given that the best source of vitamin D is exposure to sunlight, it was believed that vitamin D deficiency is least likely to occur in people living in tropical environments like India. Surprisingly, nearly 60-80% of the Indian population is deficient in Vitamin D. Several studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency has spread across all age groups, making conditions like osteoporosis a major health problem. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the daily recommended allowance of Vitamin D is 200 IU/day. You could easily eliminate the deficiency by going out in the sunlight for 15 minutes every day.

Calcium deficiency

Dietary calcium intake among Indians remains significantly low, mainly in those who have vitamin D deficiency, because its absorption is dependent on adequate levels of vitamin D. Nutritional experts note that the deficiency of a nutrient like calcium that is abundantly present in milk and milk products is a direct result of the consumption of high-calorie foods like pizzas and burgers during early childhood years. Sticking to healthy food habits in teenage years can prevent the risk of osteoporosis and bone related disorders in adulthood.


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Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Nutrition


Conditions for Import of Onion upto 30-11-2014


Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture has decided, in light of public concern over high prices of onion in the market, to allow derogation from the conditions of fumigation and endorsement on PSC as per the Plant Quarantine Order , 2003 for onion imports upto 30th November, 2014 on the following conditions:


  1. Such consignments of imported onions which arrive in Indian port without fumigation and endorsement to that effect on the PSC would be fumigated in India by the importer through an accredited treatment provider.  The consignment would be inspected thoroughly by quarantine officials and released only if found free from pests and diseases of concern to India.


  1. Such consignments of onions for consumption will not be subjected to the four times penal fees on account of non compliance of conditions of import under the PQ Order, 2003.


Source : Department of Agriculture & Cooperation (Ministry of Agriculture New Delhi, September 1, 2014,


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Posted by on September 3, 2014 in International Trade


Consumer Alert : Packaged Soup:Taste Vs Health, Eat smart & Save at restaurants

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Posted by on September 3, 2014 in Consumer Awareness


Administration failure : Water borne diseases on the rise in states


 68 workers drink gukta factory water, taken ill


Some 68 workers of a gukta’ manufacturing unit in Bhopal were taken ill after drinking water meant for industrial use.

The workers have been administered emergency medical care, according to district health officials here on Monday.

The incident came to light when a private hospital reported the matter to district chief medical and health officer (CMHO) Dr Pankaj Shukla on Monday.

Dr Shukla said, “A team from IDSP along with doctors inspected the factory and collected the water samples. Action against the factory owners is being considered. We are waiting for laboratory report of the water samples.”

The factory which manufactures Rajshree Gukta in Govindpura industrial area had claimed initially that drinking water being used by them was from Bhopal Municipal Corporation (BMC). However, when health officials cross checked, it was learnt that the civic body does not supplies water to the industry.

Integrated Diseases Surveillance Programme (IDSP) officials said the 68 people have been discharged. “They have been reporting of vomiting and diarrhoea for the past few days,” said an IDSP official.

IDSP report submitted to the CMHO mentions that water filter used in the factory were defunct in absence of regular service. However, it could not be established if any of the chemicals used in manufacture led to the illness of factory workers.

Number of diarrhoea patients reaches 200 mark

PANCHKULA: 01.09.14

The number of diarrhoea patients in Sector 19 crossed the 200 mark on Sunday. To make matters worse, authorities have not been able to detect the problem. Sources said a 70-year-old woman died of diarrhoea but doctors denied it saying she was brought dead to the Sector 6 hospital.

The HUDA department concerned and medical teams are trying to control the situation but have not had much success. Special arrangements have been made for the public, including water tanks for residents. The number of members in the medical team, including the number of doctors, has been increased and all the nine teams are continuing with their door-to-door survey.

“Our teams are available with the patients 24/7. We are doing our best and now it is up to the water department to ascertain the exact reason behind water contamination”, said chief medical officer, VK Bansal. “We have also made public announcements on speakers and requested people to put chlorine balls in a bucket of 20 litres of water and boil water before drinking. Pamphlets have been distributed in the area listing prevention and cure”, he said.

Public health department has also started a helpline where people can call and inform about water contamination. According to HUDA officials, their teams are working on detecting the source of water contamination. Water supply was stopped earlier on Saturday and water is being supplied through water tanks.

Deputy commissioner SS Phulia said the exact reason for the outbreak is yet to be detected. Ruling out the possibility of breakage in the underground pipeline, he said, “We have checked water pipes and we didn’t find any breakage. There is the possibility that rain water may have got mixed in the tube well in the area and that might have contaminated the water”.

Water-borne diseases spreading in Manda, Koraon blocks


Supply of contaminated water is the key reason behind spreading of water-borne diseases in villages falling under Manda and Koraon blocks. Health teams visited several villages after death of eight children and revealed that villagers have no source to get pure and fresh potable water.

Majority of villagers are drawing potable water from wells which were not cleaned for decades. At Barwari Kala village, villagers are forced to drink contaminated water from wells frogs are present.

Resentment is brewing among people against the failure of district authorities to arrange pure potable water as they have been forced to drink contaminated water from wells or hand pumps. This has also led to a rise in water-borne diseases





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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Food poisoning


Tea Board of India defers plant protection code

The Tea Board said that the tea industry was facing increased challenges by the way of awareness among consumers on the need for using safer, healthier and more environment-friendly products. File photo

The industry is facing increased challenges by the way of awareness among consumers on the need for using safer, healthier and more environment-friendly products.

The Tea Board of India has decided to defer full implementation of the plant protection code (PPC) which was to be effective from September 1. It has now been deferred till January 2015.

The PPC is a comprehensive document, which lays down the manner in which chemicals are going to be used safely, in tea cultivation. The aim is to achieve sustainability through Good Agricultural Practices, including integrated pest management by gradually reducing dependence on chemicals. In March, the Tea Board had issued a directive in this respect exercising its powers under the Tea Marketing (Control) Order, 2003.

Enquiries revealed that while the bigger players were ready, the small tea growers, who now accounted for over a third of India’s tea output, said that they needed more time and some hand-holding by the Tea Board

The Tea Board said that the tea industry was facing increased challenges by the way of awareness among consumers on the need for using safer, healthier and more environment-friendly products.

The need for judicious use of plant protection formulations has become imperative, and a PPC was developed by the Board. The Code’s focus is on responsible chemicals management.

In its circular on the deferment, the Tea Board said that “considering representations made by the industry requesting for some more time, it has been decided to defer the implementation of three clauses of the PPC notification of March till the end of the ongoing season — December 2014. It said that all other provisions of the code would some into force from Monday.

The three provisions whose implementation has been deferred pertained to declarations on conformity to the PPF.



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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Pest News


Tea for a healthy heart

The good old cuppa

A new study stirs up the debate of tea vs. coffee. Tea drinkers had the reverse profile of coffee drinkers, with consumers having a better CV risk profile than non-consumers.

If you have to choose between tea or coffee, it is probably better to drink tea for its antioxidant benefits. According to a large study, drinking tea reduces non-cardiovascular (CV) mortality by 24 percent. “Coffee and tea are important components of our way of life. We investigated their effects on CV mortality and non-CV mortality in a large French population at low risk of cardiovascular diseases,” said Professor Nicolas Danchin from France at the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.

The study included 131,401 people aged 18 to 95. During the average 3.5 year follow—up period, there were 95 deaths from CV and 632 deaths from non-CV causes. The researchers found that coffee drinkers had a higher CV risk profile than non-coffee drinkers. Non-coffee drinkers were more physically active, with 45 percent having a good level of physical activity compared to 41 percent of the heavy coffee drinkers.

Tea drinkers had the reverse profile of coffee drinkers, with consumers having a better CV risk profile than non-consumers. Physical activity increased with the number of cups of tea per day from 43 percent in the moderate tea drinkers to 46 percent in the heavy drinkers. “Overall we tend to have a higher risk profile for coffee drinkers and a lower risk profile for tea drinkers. We also found big differences with gender. Men tend to drink coffee much more than women, while women tend to drink more tea than men,” Danchin emphasised. “I think you could fairly honestly recommend tea drinking rather than coffee drinking,” he told the gathering


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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Research


Food Labelling – 2: Name & trade of the Food product and the List of Ingredients

Name of Food: The name and trade name of the food shall be mentioned on the label.

List of the Ingredients: The list of all food articles i.e. ingredients added in the manufacture of food products are to be mentioned on the label with the title “Ingredients”.  Any substance including food additives, color, preservatives added in the manufacture of food product shall be added in the list of ingredients.

The name of ingredients shall be given in descending order that means the ingredient used in higher quantity will be mentioned first than the substance used in lower quantities. Specific name of each ingredient shall be mentioned on the label.

However in some cases the class name of the food ingredient is allowed to be mentioned in place of specific name of the ingredient .For example,.if turmeric powder or chilles powder or both or any other single spice or more than one spices in combination have been used in the preparation of any food product then in place of mentioning the names of all spices used ,the class name as “spice and condiments” may be mentioned in the list of ingredients.

The ingredients falling in the respective classes, the class title as mentioned in the table may be used.

Table containing the Ingredients and Class Title


Class Titles

Edible vegetable oils/Edible vegetable fatAnimal fat / oil other than milk fat 


Starches, other than chemically modified starches


All species of fish where the fish constitutes an ingredient of another food and provided that the labelling and presentation of such food does not refer to a species of fish

Edible vegetable oil/ Edible vegetable fat or both hydrogenated or Partially hydrogenated oilGive name of the source of fat. Pork fat, lard and beef fat or extracts thereof shall be declared by specific names 





All types of poultry meat where such meat constitutes an

Poultry meat


ingredient of another food and provided that the labeling



and presentation of such a food does not refer to a specific



All types of cheese where cheese or mixture of cheeses



constitutes an ingredient of another food and provided that



the labelling and presentation of such food does not refer to



a specific type of cheese



All spices and condiments and their extracts


Spices and condiments or mixed spices/ condiments



as appropriate

All types of gum or preparations used in the manufacture of

Gum Base


gum base for chewing gum



Anhydrous dextrose and dextrose monohydrate

Dextrose or Glucose


All types of Caseinates



Press, expeller or refined cocoa butter


Cocoa butter

All crystallized fruit


Crystallized fruit

All milk and milk products derived solely from milk

Milk solids


Cocoa bean, Coconib, Cocomass, Cocoa press cakes,

Cocoa solids


Cocoa powder (Fine/Dust)



If the ingredient used in the product, itself is the product of one or more ingredients then such a compound ingredient shall be mentioned in the list of ingredients with a list of its ingredients in descending order within the brackets.

In some cases percentage of the ingredients added has to be mentioned. Where a food product is a mixture of two food products or the ingredient of food product, is shown as present on the label or through words or pictures then the percentage of the ingredients shown in the picture have to be mentioned.

The ingredients need not to be mentioned in a single ingredient food.

To summarize, the brand name should clearly appear on the label along with the information about all classes of ingredients and their percentage quantity used in the manufacturing of the product

Dr.Pawan Vats

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Posted by on September 2, 2014 in Food Labelling


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