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FSSAI’s recent order revized the standards or the purpose of re-operationalizing the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2021 that prescribed the limits for naturally occurring formaldehyde in freshwater and marine fish.

As per the FSSAI, the process involved in notification of the draft regulations has been a bit time consuming and in the process the food authority reviewed the list of fish species as well as added other species of fish into the list.

The limit for naturally occurring formaldehyde in fresh water and marine fish were being specified under the regulations. Apart from that, the hygienic conditions that are to be met at the time of handling, processing, manufacturing, packing, storing, distribution and transportation of fish and fish products were also specified.

The marine fish were divided into two categories, out of which Group 1 would contain 7 fish species, which is one more than the earlier list, with the formaldehyde limit set at 8 mg per kg. Group 2 contains 28 fish species against the previous limit of 22, in which the formaldehyde limit has been set at 4mg per kg at the maximum.

Group 3 which forms another category contains names of freshwater fish species, that also includes exotic and minor carps, other freshwater fish, catfish, crustaceans as well as molluscs. This category was allowed to have a maximum limit of 4mg/kg of formaldehyde.

The FSSAI has additionally mentioned that there would be revision on the limits based on the data obtained during various seasons and geographical locations.

One of the FSSAI officials stated – “Upon analysis and recommendations by the scientific panel, the limit can be reviewed. He also added that in the case of fish and fish products of marine origin other than those stated in the table at Group 1 and Group 2, the limit of 100ppm for naturally occurring formaldehyde shall not be exceeded.

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