The FSSAI has asked the state Food Safety Commissioners to conduct market surveillance to check the adulteration of cassia (Taj) in cinnamon (Dalchini) and misbranding of such food products, after receiving complaints about malpractices in trade of such food products.

According to FSSAI, the food authority received several complaints alleging malpractices involving the adulteration of cassia (Taj) in cinnamon (Dalchini) and misbranding of the same by the Food Business Operators to capitalise on the higher profit margin offered by cassia compared to cinnamon.

“The Commissioners of Food Safety of States/UTs and the Central Licensing Authorities of FSSAI are requested to conduct a market surveillance drive to check the prevalence of such alleged malpractices concerning the above matter (both in whole form and powdered form of spice)
in their respective areas and submit the report to this office by 31.12.2023,” reads the direction issued by the FSSAI.

The FSSAI has stated that there are separate standards for cinnamon and cassia food products and both were defined separately under the FSS Food Products Standards & Food Additives -Regulations.

Further, through an amendment, the maximum permissible limit of coumarin content has been specified and included to the standard of cinnamon, aiding in the distinction between cinnamon and cassia based on coumarin content. The testing method for the detection of same was also specified in the revised Manual of Methods for analysis of Spices, Herbs & Condiments published in June 2021.

Along with this, FSSAI has also released a guidance note in 2017 detailing physical and chemical properties for easy identification and differentiation between cinnamon and cassia.