Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Food Adulteration: Boondi laddu, khoya, burfi, peda, gulab jamun, rasogolla, jalebi, Mysore Pak and halwa now covered under Food Act

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad, April 4: Mithaiwalas will now need to be extra careful while preparing sweets and savouries as any unscrupulous practice will land them in trouble. They also need to declare the ingredients used and
whether the preparations contain any harmful or banned substances.
Nearly six decades after it first framed food rules, the Central government has now decided to extend the scope of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955, by including traditional Indian food items, generally available in mithai shops or the so-called "hot chips" kitchens.
The new guidelines, Prevention of Food Adulteration (first amendment) Rules, 2011 bring traditional food items like halwa, Mysore Pak, boondi, laddu, jalebi, khoya, burfi, peda, gulab jamun and rasogolla under the watchful eyes of food inspectors.
Preparation and sale of these food items will now be governed by the PFA Rules. Traders deviating from the standard procedure and resorting to adulteration of ingredients will be liable for prosecution. With the number of calorie-conscious consumers increasing by the day, traders have been including sugar substitutes, some of which are harmful to people.
"There has been a spurt in the use of artificial sweeteners. While a few substitutes to sugar are good, many are harmful. Further, one need to be extra careful about milk products, as any slight contamination may lead
to severe health complications," said consumer rights activist VS Narayana, while welcoming the new regulations.
So far only bread and cakes were included in the category with regard to declaration of artificial sweeteners. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare also seeks include items like curd, milkshakes, pudding, cream, ice cream, sharbat, and fruit ice by amending sub-rule (ZZZ) (23) of Rule 42 of the Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules 1955.
The Centre's move follows increasing reports of street food turning out to be a major health hazard in the country. The manufacturers need to declare whether the preparation contains oligofructose (dietary fibre)
and if so, in what quantity. Oligofructose, an alternative to sugar, should not be added at more than 10 per cent of the product.

In case of trehalose, another alternative to sugar, the manufactures should not add more than 20 per cent of the milk product based sweets like gulab jamun, rasogolla, peda and khoya burfi.

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