Voluntary standards and certification system

Lesson 15 : Food Adulteration

Voluntary standards and certification system

Agencies such as Bureau of Indian Standards, the Directorate of marketing and Inspection have laid down quality standards for food, these are voluntary.

  • BIS (Bureau of Indian Standards): Safety, performance and reliability are assured, when the product is ISI marked. ISI is now known as Bureau of Indian Standards. The BIS operates a certification mark scheme under the BIS Act, 1986. Standards covering more than 450 different food products have been published. The organization runs a voluntary certification scheme known as ISI mark for certification of procured food items. Standards are laid for vegetable and fruit products, spices and condiments , animal products and procured foods.

    The products are checked for quality by the BIS in their own network of testing , laboratories at Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkatta, Chennai, Chandigarh and Patna or in a number of public and private laboratories recognized by them.
  • The AGMARK Standards: The AGMARK standards was set up by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection of the Government of India by introducing Agricultural produce Act in 1937. The AGMARK seal ensures quality and purity. The quality of the product is determined with reference to the size, variety, weight, colour, moisture, fat content etc. The act defines quality of cereals, spices, oil seeds, oil, butter, ghee, legumes, eggs etc.

    The Directorate of marketing and Inspection of central Government has 21 laboratories and 50 sub offices spread all over the country. The central AGMARK laboratory is at Nagpur.
  • Export Inspection Council: The council has been constituted to check the quality of a number of food materials meant for export. The council has powers to reject any food, which does not measure up to the standards prescribed for the food.

    Canned food such as mango juice, pineapple juice, frozen food such as are subject to scrutiny by this body before export.
  • Consumer protection Act 1986: The main objective of the Act is to promote and protect the rights of the consumers. With regards to defective goods, deficiency of services over charging or any unfair practice.
  • International standards Codex Alimentarius: Codex Alimentarius commission was established in 1962. The codex Alimentarius which means “Food law” or “Food code” in Latin is a combined set of standards , codes or practices and other model regulations available for countries to use and apply to food in international trade. The two objectives of the codex Alimentarius Commission are
    1. To protect the health of consumers and
    2. To facilitate the international trade.
The codex secretariat is located in Rome and is financed jointly by the FAO and the WHO.
  • Hazards Analyzed Critical Control Point (HACCP): HACCP is a food safety risk management tool that is supplied to determine significant hazards pertaining to specific products and processes and to control the occurrence of such hazards. It is based on the principle that each and every step in processing should be monitored starting from good quality raw food ingredients, monitoring each processing step, identifies critical control points, where hazards may occur and keeps these critical points under control. This ensures that the finished product is safe and of high quality.

    Many of the benefits of HACCP are of a long term nature such as reduced wastage through improved process control, move efficient use of resources, which will provide a financial reward for the company. In India, HACCP certification has been made compulsory for seafood export oriented units.

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Last modified: Saturday, 3 December 2011, 11:39 AM