India Amends the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations Regarding Crop Contaminants
On November 20, 2015, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) published a draft of the Food Safety Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) (Amendment) Regulation 2015, regarding crop contaminants which are susceptible to contain Aflatoxin, Ochratoxin A, Patulin and Deoxynivalenol.
SAFEGUARDS | Food NO. 214/15
Codex Alimentarius defines “Crop contaminants” as any substances that are not intentionally added to food, but which get added to articles of food in the process of their production (including operations carried out in crop husbandry, animal husbandry and veterinary medicine), manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packing, packaging transport, or holding of articles of such food as a result of environmental contamination.
Mycotoxins are toxic metabolites produced by molds. They have the potential to cause both acute and chronic health effects via ingestion, skin contact and inhalation. They are of much concern for both food commodities and animal feed, particularly in countries with tropical condition that have humidity and temperatures sufficient for the growth of molds.
The Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulation 2011, F.No.2-15015/30/2010  was established on August 1, 2011. The regulation sets limits for various metal contaminants and crop contaminants, as well as naturally occurring toxic substance and residues, such as insecticide groups in food commodities. This update to the regulation for 2015  amends the 2011 food safety regulation, in regulation 2.2 relating to “Crop Contaminants and naturally occurring toxic substances”, sub-regulation 2.2.1, clause 1, as per the table below.
|S. No||Name of the contaminant||Article of food||Limit µg/kg|
|1||Aflatoxin||Cereal and cereal products||15|
Nuts for further processing
Ready to eat
Oilseeds or oil
Oilseeds for further processing
Ready to eat
|3||Ochratoxin A||Wheat, barley and rye||20|
|4||Patulin||Apple juice and apple juice ingredients in other beverages||50|
What do the changes mean?
The Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) (Amendment) Regulation 2015 came into force on November 12, 2015, the date it was published in the Gazette of India. Food business operators must ensure that their food products meet the new standards. Compliance can be verified through sampling and testing. If in doubt, seek professional advice.
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