Underscoring the NMR data came out of recent CSE test, FSSAI issued new notifications regarding the same that authority will utilise the report to further ameliorate the condition of Honey ecosystem.
FSSAI stated that it will implement Specific Marker for Rice Syrup Test (SMR), it has been made mandatory for all brands of honey to pass through.
Regarding the utility of NMR data, FSSAI said that it uses realtime molecular components and magnetic fields to usher the adulterants and undesired particles in the food materials and thus it is highly efficient test.
“Prior existence of a database is a necessity for effective utilisation of this technique. No such database exists at present for Indian honey and hence, NMR testing will have limited utility. The cost of conducting NMR tests is also quite high and the volumes available at present would not be sufficient to motivate laboratories for investing in this high end equipment. In view of lack of database, high skill requirement, high operating cost and high capital investment; the scientific panel has opined that NMR is not required at this juncture. The scientific panel has also pointed out that India, of all the countries across the globe as well as Codex Alimentarius Commission, has the most stringent standards for honey. It may be added here that almost no food regulator in the world has so far mandated NMR as a test method for honey,” says FSSAI.
Further, reads the statement of FSSAI, ‘CSE has pointed out that FSSAI has issued instructions for checking adulteration of honey with golden syrup, invert sugar syrup, and rice syrup. CSE has opined that this is an erroneous order because nowadays companies are using fructose syrup to adulterate honey. FSSAI had issued the said instructions in this regard last year on 23 December 2019, for the first time, on the basis of a request from the Ministry of Agriculture, which had suggested that these imported syrups are being used for adulteration of honey. Action is required to prevent adulteration from various sources, and hence this order is not erroneous, but is a part of our ongoing efforts to prevent adulteration of honey.’
“It is not clear as to why some tests like SMR have not been conducted on the samples spiked with adulterants by CSE. FSSAI has requested for details of the samples and the tests conducted from CSE. As soon as details become available, they will be analysed by FSSAI to draw conclusions about the protocols followed and suggest any improvements that are required in the test methodology for future,” said an official with the FSSAI.
Admist all these, CSE witholds its findings and claimed that it is highly clarified test albeit many companies rejected it.