Is your honey pure enough? FSSAI to ensure purity with 20 parameter test
As per the information available with Zee Business, the new standards for honey will be released in the month of June 2018. The new standards will have 20 parameters to check the purity of honey. The parameters will also focus on sugar concentrate in the honey and they will be tested as per C4 and C3 norms to know its purity
By Suman Agrawal
To ensure purity of honey that reaches the consumers in the market, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has decided to release new standards to test the purity of honey. As per the information available with Zee Business, the new standards for honey will be released in the month of June 2018. The new standards will have 20 parameters to check the purity of honey. The parameters will also focus on sugar concentrate in the honey and they will be tested as per C4 and C3 norms to know its purity.
Pawan Agarwal, the CEO of FSSAI, in an exclusive talk with Zee Business's Suman Agrawal, said, "Sugar and Corn syrups can be used for adulteration of the honey and till date we never had the method to check this adulteration. But, the new standards will have certain provisions to have a check on sugar concentrate in Honey. The standards will be notified as soon as the mechanism of testing method is finalised at our end." He added, "the notification will allow us to have a check on adulteration of honey with the help of sugar and corn syrup."
Earlier on December 14, 2017, the FSSAI issued a draft notification on Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standard and Food Additives) Amendment Regulation related to standards of Honey, Bee Wax & Royal Jelly, Steviol glycoside along with pulses and other products. These amendments regulations prescribed revised standards for honey and comprehensive standards for all pulses and for all other products, there are new standards. These amendments will ensure purity and quality of these food products.
In addition, BL Saraswat; the executive director at National Bee Board, added, "there was a need to bring new standards to monitor the purity of honey."
The decision to revise the standards was taken in the backdrop of complaints related to adulteration in Honey. Complains are there the honey is being adulterated with sugar, water and sugar syrup. Adulteration of honey with these products makes it difficult to identify the purity of the product. Besides, in past, some reports claimed that China is also sending adulterated honey to India.
About the Existing Standards
The food regulator, FSSAI's existing guidelines mainly focused on the antibiotic, moisture, sucrose, hydroxymethyl furfural instead of adulteration. But the new standards, yet to be released will have guidelines to check the sugar concentration in honey.
Honey production in India:
Financial Year 2014 -15 - 80 thousand metric tonnes
Financial Year 2015-16 - 88 thousand 900 metric ton
Financial Year 2016-17 - 94 thousand 500 metric ton
Financial Year 2017-18 (June estimated) - 1 lakh 5 thousand metric ton