This Guidance Document has been created by FSSAI to help Food Businesses ensure hygiene and sanitation in manufacturing and sale of milk products particularly sweets. It focuses on enhanced declaration by sellers [Shelf Life, made of ghee/vanaspati], guide test for detection of adulteration quality assessment by observation of flavours, body texture, colour and appearance. It also contains suggestions for addressing adulteration and ensuring effective regulatory compliance. This document is also expected to enhance consumer awareness about safety related aspects of traditional sweets, quick home tests and grievance redressal.
- Ensure hygiene and sanitation in preparation and sale of sweets as well as other regulatory compliances including display of shelf life of pre-packaged as well as non-packaged milk products for consumer information.
- Ascertain the freshness and probability of adulteration by observing the colour, texture and flavour of milk products. There are simple tests to identify adulteration in milk products.
- Regular surveillance and enforcement activities on sweets by regulatory authorities.
India has a rich tradition of sweets with a variety of taste, texture and ingredients. Traditional
milk-based sweets are generally prepared from khoya, chhena, sugar and other ingredients such as maida, flavours and colours e.g. peda, burfi, milk cake, gulab jamun, rasgulla, rasmalai etc. In addition, there are sweets containing cereal, starch or grain as the main ingredient e.g. suji halwa, moong dal halwa, jalebi, boondi laddoo, motichoor laddoo, gujiya, balusahi, soan-papdi etc. There are also sweet snacks e.g. chikki, gajak, murrunda, gudchana coated with jaggery, sugar, honey and other ingredients.
Sweets have limited shelf life. Sweets particularly those with milk products have lesser shelf life (1-4 days) and are more prone to microbial growth. Therefore, sanitation and hygiene in their preparation and consumption within shelf life is of utmost importance. Moreover, there are issues of adulteration and use of sub-standard products. Concerted efforts are needed to ensure food safety of sweets by stakeholders including food business, consumers and regulatory authorities.
Challenges in Traditional sweets
There are a number of issues faced in manufacture and sale of sweets. People involved in manufacture lack adequate knowledge of regulatory compliances and good hygienic practices. The packaging and labelling requirements are often neglected. Moreover, there are certain issues like use of non-permitted colour, flavour or other ingredients; use of Raw Materials of poor quality for sweet manufacturing; repeated use of oil in cooking/preparation leading to increased level of trans fat which need to addressed.
Milk Product Survey
FSSAI had a pilot scale survey of milk products to ascertain the quality and safety of milk products sold in and around Delhi between 15th October and 7th November 2019 coinciding with the festival season. Samples were drawn from 11 districts in multiple locations across Delhi-NCR. During the survey a total of 1041 samples (438 packed & 603 loose milk products) including khoya, paneer, ghee and milk-based sweets such as khoya burfi and chenna, chenna rasgulla were taken and tested at National Food Laboratory, Ghaziabad. For the first time. surveillance also focused on microbiological parameters that included process hygiene and pathogens.
The survey reveals the trend that milk product samples do not have safety issues in both chemical and microbiological analysis. The samples were found to have predominantly quality and hygiene issues with more incidences in loose samples as compared to packed ones.
Guidance for Food Businesses
- The general hygiene and sanitary requirements as specified under Schedule IV of FSS (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations 2011 should be scrupulously complied with.
- In case of pre-packaged milk products, the list of ingredients and the date of manufacturing and best before or use by date should invariably be mentioned as prescribed under the FSS (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
- In case of non-packaged/loose sweets, the container/tray holding the items at the outlet should display the following information:
- Best before or use by date.
- Whether Oil/ghee/Vanaspati used
- The record of source of dairy based products should be maintained.
- FSSAI License/Registration should be prominently displayed at the unit.
- Use of non-permitted colours and repeated use of oil should be avoided
- For sale of savouries, sweets or other articles of food, the notice board should indicate whether articles which have been cooked in ghee, edible oil, vanaspati and other fats for the information of the consumers.
- Training and capacity building of the manufacturers will help in the basic understanding of hygiene, sanitation, handling and storage. They may get training under Food Safety Training and Certification (FoSTaC) programme of FSSAI.
- Get the samples tested from NABL accredited FSSAI notified laboratories at regular intervals and display the same on display boards at their respective outlets.
Suggestive Logo for Shelf life
The food business may use the following logos to indicate the shelf life of products for information of consumers:
Shelf Life of Sweets
The Indian sweets use a variety of ingredients such as khoya, ghee, flours, dry fruits, sugar etc. The shelf life of sweets depends upon the ingredients used. For example, the Khoya Burfi has shorter shelf life than Boondi Ladoo. In this regard, an illustrative list of sweets with their shelf life is given below:
Guidance for Consumers
First approach for a consumer to prevent an encounter of any adulterated product is to avoid purchase of loose products, as the probability of adulteration increases. The right flavour, body and texture, colour and appearance of milk products determine the quality and freshness of the milk product. Table below gives flavour, body, texture, colour and appearance of some sweets and other milk products.
Consumers can test common adulterants in the milk products using Quick Tests as given below.
FSSAI has various interfaces where consumers can register their grievances. These interfaces are listed below:
- e-mail – c[email protected]
- WhatsApp – 9868686868
- Facebook Page – FSSAI
- Twitter – @fssaiindia
- FSSAI concern web portal –Food Safety Connect https://foodlicensing.fssai.gov.in/cmsweb/
- Toll- Free No. –1800112100
- Application – Food Safety Connect (android)
This Guidance Note has been prepared by Mr Parveen Jargar, Joint Director at FSSAI based on FSSAI resources including Regulations, Standards and DART Book. This note contains information collected and compiled by the author from various sources and does not have any force of law. Errors and omissions, if any can be kindly brought to our notice.