FSSAI to map nation for crop contaminants to reduce contamination risk

Ashish Bahuguna, chairman, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), has called for geographical mapping of the country to identify the contaminants in crops to reduce the risk vis-à-vis contamination in processed food.

While addressing an event organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) in New Delhi, he said, “This is needed to reduce the contamination in the final product (i.e. processed food).”

Bahuguna said, “Amongst the major factors, food safety is dependent on the level of contaminants in the food crop. And they are geographically different from one region to the other.”

“The idea is to map the level of contaminants for each major crop in the country before presenting it to the industry. after which the industry can source their required raw crops from a better place, so that the processed final product is low on contaminants,” he added.

Meanwhile, regarding the food safety ecosystem, Bahuguna stated, “We are working on such an ecosystem that there is an advantage for everybody to improve upon the processes, protocols and finally their output standards.”

“Credibility needs to be associated with the entire ecosystem, and everybody should feel enthused about it. And it cannot only be achieved through regulations, but also by generating consumer awareness.”

He also stressed that the agriculture and food processing industries should be in sync with each other for a better growth sustained by logistical infrastructure.

Giriraj Singh, minister of state, ministry of small and medium enterprises (MSME), emphasised the need to identify the lack of coordination between the government and the food processing industry.

He said that horticulture and food processing would be a major driving force for the economy in the near future, not only driving the growth but also providing job opportunities.

Present on the occasion were D S Rawat, secretary general, ASSOCHAM, and P K Jain, chairman, Council on Food Processing and Value Addition, ASSOCHAM, amongst others.

 
 
 
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