FSSAI issues Guidance Note on Safe Ground Spices and How to Ensure that they are Not Adulterated

Jul 31, 2018 | by Avantis RegTech Legal Research Team


The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on July 30, 2018, has published a Guidance Note on Safe Ground Spices. Summarizing the need for the Guidance Note, the FSSAI has stated that spices are an important commodity in every Indian kitchen and no meal is complete without them. We probably buy a variety of ground spices every month and when packaged spices of our choice are not available, we end up buying loose spices. This increases our risk of consuming adulterated spices. Ground spices maybe adulterated with artificial colours, starch, chalk powder, etc. to increase their weight and enhance appearance. High value ground spices are frequently adulterated for economic gains. Adulteration is difficult to identify by visual and sensory inputs alone. Consumption of adulterated spices can cause various diseases like skin allergies, liver disorder etc. Due to high probability of adulteration in ground spices, FSSAI has banned the sale of ground spices in loose form. This document will increase consumers' awareness about safety of ground spices and serve as a guide to ensure that the ground spices we buy are not adulterated.

The Guidance Note also gives the “Key Takeaways” which the general public, as customers, should keep in mind the following points:

         Avoid buying powdered spices sold loose.

         Buy spices in packaged condition from trusted brands only. Prefer purchasing AGMARK certified ground spices and look for AGMARK logo.

         Check the FSSAI licence number on the package label.

         Purchase whole spices from known/reputed stores/dealers and grind it at home after proper cleaning and washing. Chances of adulteration in whole spices are generally low as compared to ground spices as it can be visually identified.

         Do not buy spices with extra shine and bright colours as they are more likely to be adulterated.

         Never purchase ground spices having lump formation or unpleasant odour.

         Always read the manufacturing date, manufacturer details, best before date and other labelling declarations before buying spices.

         Never buy ground spices if the package is damaged.

         Look for FSSAI organic logo (Jaivik Bharat) on the pack while buying organic spices.

This guidance note has been prepared by Ruby Mishra, Technical Officer of FSSAI based on FSSAI Regulations and standards. This note contains information collected and compiled by the author from various sources that do not have any force of law.

[Guidance Note No.: 02/2018]

URL: http://www.fssai.gov.in/dam/jcr:16baa8fb-8131-4480-a324-c9bd6be003f7/Guidance_Note_Safe_Ground_Spices_30_07_2018.pdf


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