FSSAI has issued a draft notification which proposes changes to “Restrictions relating to conditions of sale.” The Apex body has asked WTO-SPS members to offer their comments, suggestions, and views on the proposed changes in the regulations regarding Blended Edible Vegetable Oils.
Presently the restrictions relating to conditions for the weight of Blended Edible Vegetable Oils that are sold in sealed packages is 15 liters. The change put forward by FSSAI proposes to substitute 15 liters with 15kgs. According to the FSSAI definition Blended Vegetable Oil means the admixture of two or more edible vegetable oils. As you know the regulation for Blended Edible Vegetable Oils says that it cannot be sold lose but only in sealed packages. So the proposal is to sell it by weight in kilograms rather than liters.
The container with blended vegetable oil must be tamper proof. Blended vegetable oil is not to be sold by its common or generic name but will be labeled as “Blended Edible Vegetable Oil”. The sealed packages must also bear the AGMARK certification mark and be labeled according to Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) regulations, 2011 for the AGMARK certification mark and other label requirements.
According to the Rules of AGMARK for Blended Edible Vegetable oils Grading and Marking Rules, 1991 blended edible oil needs to be packed in new, sound and clean tins, sound and clean glass bottles or tetra packs or new sound and clean container, in the form of bottles, jars, cans or pouches (laminated, extrusion, multilayer) made of food grade plastic materials. The plastic containers will be manufactured out of food grades of plastic materials permitted under Prevention of Food Adulteration Rules, 1955. The containers must be free from insect infestation, fungus contamination, rust, imparting color or deleterious substances or any undesirable or obnoxious smell.
It is a compulsory requirement for Blended Edible Vegetable Oils to be certified under AGMARK. The grade designation mark consists of a label specifying name of the commodity, grade designation and bearing the design consisting of an outline map of India with the word ‘Agmark’ and the figure of rising sun Or an ‘Agmark replica’ consisting of a design incorporating the number of certificate of authorisation, the word ‘Agmark’ name of commodity and grade designation.
AGMARK certification mark can be used only by authorized packers who have been granted permission to do so by Agricultural Marketing Adviser Government of India. AGMARK authorization is given on application on a prescribed Performa and other documents. The applicant must have adequate infrastructure to process the commodity and must also have access to an approved laboratory so that quality and safety factors can be determined.
In the other notification, FSSAI has proposed to allow the artificial ripening of fruits by use of Ethylene Gas at a concentration of up to 100ppm (0.01%) depending upon the crop, variety & maturity.
The existing regulations prohibit the sale of fruits which have been artificially ripened with Acetylene Gas.