The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued gazette notification for regulations related to limits of metal and crop contaminants in food articles.
Called the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) First Amendment Regulations, 2020, the Food Business Operator shall comply with all the provisions of these regulations with effect from July 1, 2021, according to the apex food regulator.
The regulations specify limits relating to ‘Crop Contaminants and Naturally Occurring Toxic Substances’.
Most importantly the regulation specifies the limit of Aflatoxin M1, which has become a worry for the food regulator after the National Milk Survey found several samples carrying the toxins, which are considered as cancerous.
FSSAI has fixed the limit of Aflatoxin M1 at 0.5 µg/kg for milk (liquid), 6 µg/kg for skimmed milk powder and 4 µg/kg for whole milk powder.
For Cereals and Cereal products, Arecanut or Betelnut, Nuts, Oilseeds or oil, and pulses, the total aflatoxins limit is fixed at 15 µg/kg, while for spices and spice mix the limit is set at 30 µg/kg. Further, for food products containing any of the above-mentioned food articles, the limit is set at 20 µg/kg.
The limit of Ochratoxin A has been fixed at 20 µg/kg for wheat, rye and barley while the limit of Patulin is fixed at 50 µg/kg for apple juice, and apple juice used as an ingredient in other beverages.
The limit of deoxynivalenol for wheat is fixed at 1,000 µg/kg.
According to the regulations, no article of food specified in these regulations shall contain any metal and crop contaminant in excess of the quantity specified in these regulations.
The metals, whose limits were fixed for various food products packaged and non-packaged include lead, copper, arsenic, tin cadmium, mercury, methyl mercury, chromium, nickel, selenium and antimony.