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FSSAI calls CSE for test analysis report on honey adulteration

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A day after the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) mentioned that it discovered widespread adulteration in lots of honey manufacturers brands, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has mentioned that it has sought details of the samples and assessments carried out by CSE for its analysis.

The FSSAI additionally said it was not clear over why the CSE didn’t use the Specific Marker for Rice syrup (SMR) test, a more delicate and focused check prescribed by it and used the NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) technique, which is a fast and data-driven detection technique with restricted utility within the Indian context.

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The FSSAI identified that no food regulator in the world has so far mandated NMR as a test technique for honey.

More delicate check

An FSSAI officials have said that “A more delicate SMR test has already been made mandatory and is a more intense test to uncover adulteration of rice syrup in honey, therefore, it was felt by experts that NMR is not necessary. This view was agreed by the Ministry of Agriculture, and hence NMR method has not been made compulsory as a test method.”

“For an effectiveness of NMR outcomes, a prior existence of a database is necessary. So, at present no such database exists for Indian honey. Therefore, NMR testing will have limited utility,” the official statement added.

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World standards

FSSAI’s experts panel expressed that India, of all of the nations throughout the globe has probably the most strict standards for honey.

On Wednesday, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed that FSSAI’s instruction for checking adulteration of honey with invert sugar syrup, golden syrup and rice syrup was inaccurate since fructose syrup is getting used to adulterate honey.

“FSSAI,  in 2019 on December 23, had issued the above said instruction in this regard for the first time on the basis of a request from the Ministry of Agriculture, which had recommended that these imported syrups are being used for adulteration of honey. A quick action is required to stop adulteration from different sources, and hence this order is not incorrect, but is a part of our ongoing attempt to put a stop to adulteration of honey,” FSSAI mentioned.

Many leading firms have rejected these allegations as “motivated” and have additionally called it a move to “promote the German technology and machines which costs lakhs and crores of rupees.”

In a separate assertion, CSE mentioned it stands by its findings and believes that NMR is an advanced test that may detect adulteration with modified sugar syrups, which can otherwise go undetected.