Food Safety News – India updates – Sept 13th

GENERAL

Centre’s notification on liquor: Kerala to abide

 
The notification has been issued by the Centre after dismissing strong opposition from the liquor producers.
The central food regulator, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has issued stringent guidelines to ensure the quality of liquor produced in the country.T
he notification dated September 9 lists out the quality criteria for production and storage of alcoholic beverages. Once the regulation comes into force, the Food Safety Authorities in the states have to conduct regular checks and raids at distilleries.
The notification has been issued by the Centre after dismissing strong opposition from the liquor producers.
The document states regulations for all types of alcoholic beverages including beer and wine.
Kerala: Liquor quality on check

For the first time Food Safety Authority issues guidelines regarding content and storage of liquor
KOCHI: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, has issued a draft notification fixing quality standards for liquor in the country. The FSSAI published the notification in the government gazette on September 5 and invited objections or suggestions to be submitted within 30 days from the date of publication of the guidelines. The notification for the first time authorises food safety officials to check the quality of the liquor sold in the country in terms of the ingredients used, manufacturing process and storage.
The FSSAI officials will have the power to examine liquor like any other product when the notification is incorporated into the law. Currently, only the excise department officials in the state are responsible for checking the quality of liquor and their examination is confined to finding whether the liquor is spurious or not. The notification by FSSAI brings the entire gamut of quality into the ambit of the food safety, including the flavours and pigments used for colours. For instance, if a liquor manufacturer labels the product as grape brandy, the manufacturer will be mandated to make it using grape.
“The grape brandy is the alcoholic distillate obtained solely from the fermented juice of fresh, ripe and sound grapes. The distillation shall be carried out to a suitable strength in such a way that the spirit possesses the distinct aroma and taste characteristics derived from grapes and the natural volatile principle already present in grapes or constituents formed during fermentation. In case of brandy made from any fruit other than grapes, the name of the fruit shall pre-fix the word ‘brandy’ in the definition.”
A similar definition is also made of various categories of whisky, gin, rum, vodka, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages sold in the country. The guidelines also stipulate that the liquor should be free from chemicals such as chloral hydrate, ammonium chloride, diazepam, paraldehyde or any other types of narcotic and psychotropic substances, including caffeine which when mixed with alcohol is injurious to health. The notification also contains specific standards for the claims made by the liquor makers. For instance, a brandy when labelled as “matured” shall be matured for a period of not less one year in oak vats or barrels.
Blended grape brandy, when labelled as “matured”, should use grape brandy which is matured for a period of not less than one year in wooden vats or barrels.
The water used for dilution to bottling strength should be as per IS-10500. Similar definitions have also been given in the case of maturity for whisky, rum, gin, vodka and other alcoholic beverages. Beer has been classified as light, standard, strong and super strong as per the ethyl alcohol content. Light has 0.5-4 per cent content, standard 4-5 per cent, strong 5-6 per cent and super strong 6-8 per cent.
Allergen warning for wine
If the wine contains more than 10 mg Sulfur Dioxide per litre, the label must declare that “contains Sulfur Dioxide or Sulfite”
If egg white, milk or isinglass is used as fining, clarifying agents in wine and treated with casein, ovalbumin or tartrazine, use of these materials should be mentioned on the label.
Toddy categorised as palm wine
Palm wine is a sweet or sour fermented and vinegary alcoholic beverage. Palm wine, also called palm toddy or ‘kallu’ or simply toddy, is an alcoholic beverage made from the sap of various species of palm tree such as the palmyra and coconut palms.
All wine shall be free from chloral hydrate, ammonium chloride, diazepam, paraldehyde or any other types of narcotic, psychotropic substances including caffeine which when mixed with alcohol are injurious to health.
It shall be bottled or canned and effectively pasteurized or preserved. Wine shall be clear and shall have characteristic colour, taste and foam of its type.
Suppliers seek rate hike soon
Almost all supplier of liquor has sought price hike of about 10 percent, which is being considered by the government. A decision on the matter is likely to come soon after the Onam holidays. It has been five years since the government allowed a hike in liquor prices.
“Over the last many years, we have been pressing for a hike considering the steep increase in raw material costs. The previous UDF government also allowed only around six percent price hike, even as we demanded 10 percent,” Kerala Distillers and Brewers Federation president T.R. Vijaykumar said. The excise policy of the new government is also may be announced soon, industry sources said.
MAHARASHTRA

Few mandals seek nod to distribute food

 
AURANGABAD: Though the food and drug administration (FDA) has appealed to all Ganesh mandals in the city to register with it if they are distributing food items to devotees, only 15 of the more than 1,600 registered and around 4,000 non-registered mandals have done so.
Food adulteration being one of the dangerous trends associated with festivals as huge quantities of food articles, particularly sweets, are sold and distributed during such events, the FDA is keeping a vigil, said Anant Pardhi, deputy joint commissioner (food), FDA Aurangabad division.
The customers, shop-keepers and mandal representatives also need to exercise caution, he said.
If we find sub-standard food being distributed or sold, we will send samples to the laboratory for investigation, he said, adding that action will be taken if the reports show adulteration or poor quality.
The Ganesh mandals have been appealed to register with the FDA in case they are organising ‘bhandara’ (distribution of food). Mandals have also been asked to keep details of food items they have purchased for ‘prasad’, ensure hygienic conditions where the prasad is prepared and use clean water. They were also advised to check if the milk and milk products being used in sweets are fresh and store them in a cool place, Pardhi said.
The FDA official also appealed to the citizens to buy only properly packed spices of ISI or AGMARK certified companies and food articles from only registered sweet marts.
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