A gazette notification for controls associated with limits of metal and crop adulterant in food products has been published by The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

Named as the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) First Amendment Regulations of 2020, the Food Business Operator shall abide by all the provisions of these regulations with effect from July 1of 2021, the apex food regulator says.

The norms clarify limits related with ‘Crop Contaminants and Naturally Occurring Toxic Substances’.

Most significantly the regulation declares the limit of Aflatoxin M1, which has become a problem for the food regulator after the National Milk Survey came across several samples carrying the toxins, which are identified as cancerous.

By FSSAI, limit of Aflatoxin M1 has been set at 0.5 µg/kg for milk (liquid), 4 µg/kg for whole milk powder, and 6 µg/kg for skimmed milk powder.

For Cereals and Cereal products, Arecanut or Betelnut, Nuts, Oilseeds or oil, and pulses, the total aflatoxins limit has been set at 15 µg/kg, while for spices and spice mix the limit has been fixed at 30 µg/kg and for food products containing any of the above-mentioned food articles, the limit is set at 20 µg/kg.

The limit has been fixed at 20 µg/kg for wheat, rye and barley for Ochratoxin A whereas the limit of Patulin for apple juice has been set at 50 µg/kg , and for the other beverages using apple juice as an ingredient 50 µg/kg has been fixed as the limit.

1,000 µg/kg has been fixed as the limit of deoxynivalenol for wheat.

The regulation advises that no food article specified in these norms should have any metal and crop contaminant in excess of the quantity when compared to the specifications issued in these regulations.

The metals, whose limits were set up for various food products [packaged and non-packaged] are copper, lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, methyl mercury, chromium, selenium, nickel, and antimony.

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