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FSSAI restricts use of potassium bromate as additives in food products
Feb 21, 2018
FSSAI has directed manufacturers of food products to stop using potassium bromate as an additive. The country’s apex food regulator clarified that its use as an additive in food products will not be permitted under any circumstances.
The recent directive issued by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) read, It is to again clarify that use of potassium bromate as an additive in any food is not allowed under any circumstances.
Srishti Sharma, owner, Little Foods, Pune, explained, Potassium bromate is mostly used in making breads and is banned by the food authorities in most Western countries and regions, including the European Union, the United Kingdom and Australia.
Only the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) permits it. It is also used by flour mills for refined flour. But as the USFDA rules are of a very stringent nature, the use of potassium bromate is allowed in a prescribed limit, i e 0.0075 part for each 100 parts by weight of flour used, she added.
Sharma said, Potassium bromate is very good oxidising agent which gives rise and puffiness in breads. However, it is classified as a Category 2B carcinogen. So when the bread is baked, potassium bromate is still present in it and is thus harmful for human consumption. The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) list of ingredients causing cancer also includes potassium bromate.
It is a positive move by the apex regulator to clarify again and ban the use of potassium bromate in any food article, she added.
FSSAI issued gazette notification in September 2016, prescribing the revised provisions for the use of food additives in various food and food categories, including the vertical standards of food products.
Last October, FSSAI-based representations received by stakeholders enforced the earlier regulation with the exception of certain food additives that were existent earlier, but either got deleted subsequently or had different usage levels. It also prohibited the use of potassium bromate as an additive in any food.
Post-controversy, with regards to potassium bromate used in bread and bakery products, based on the study by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), FSSAI has decided to remove it from the approved list of additives.
India’s milk production in ’16-17 increased by 20.13% vis-a-vis ’13-14
Feb 21, 2018
In 2016-17, the milk production in India showed 20.13 per cent growth vis-a-vis 2013-14. Further, it was estimated that the production increased by 6.4 per cent in 2016-17 over 2015-16.
The growth rate was 6.3 per cent in 2014-15; 6.3 per cent in 2015-16 and 6.4 per cent in 2016-17. Thus, a concurrent high growth was rate maintained over the past three years.
Aligning with this progressive picture, in the current year (2017-18) also, the dairy sector has gradually picked up momentum towards the projected target of the National Action Plan for Dairy Development.
As regards to seasonal estimation, the total milk production has increased from 51.33 million tonne in the summer of 2016-17 to 53.77 million tonne in the summer of 2017-18, registering a growth of 4.7 per cent.
The same was comparatively higher than the growth rate between the summer of 2015-16 and that of 2016-17 (3.9 per cent). Thus, even during the summer of 2017-18, the growth rate is higher and sustained.
The five highest milk-producing states in the summer of 2017-18 are Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh.
The total egg production in the country in 2016-17 was reported to be 88.1 billion, showing a growth rate of 12.3 per cent over 2013-14.
Further, it was estimated that the production increased by 6.3 per cent in 2016-17 over 2015-16. The growth rate was five per cent in 2014-15; 5.7 per cent in 2015-16 and 6.3 per cent in 2016-17.
Thus, there had been a consistent improvement in the growth rate of egg production during the past three years.
As regards to the seasonal estimation, the total egg production increased from 26.03 billion in the summer of 2016-17 to 27.95 billion in the summer of 2017-18, registering a growth of 7.4 per cent.
The same was comparatively higher than the growth rate between the summer of 2015-16 and that of 2016-17 (5.5 per cent).
Thus, even during the summer of 2017-18, the growth rate is higher and sustained. The production of eggs has largely been contributed by commercial poultry farms with nearly 80.83 per cent, while the remaining production is from household/backyard poultry.
The five highest egg-producing states in the summer of 2017-18 were Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, West Bengal and Haryana.
India’s banana growing area 15.5%, but contribution huge, states Singh
Feb 21, 2018
Although India accounts for just 15.5 per cent in area, its contribution to the world’s banana production is 25.58 per cent. Thus, it has emerged as one of the most important fruit crops and is easily available to the common man. This was stated by Radha Mohan Singh, agriculture and farmers’ welfare minister, Government of India, at the 2018 essay of the National Banana Festival, which took place in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, recently.
Bananas and plantains are major staple food crops for millions of people in tropical developing countries. They have a history of over 4,000 years, dating back to 2020 BC, he added, stating that bananas were native to India and were widely grown in the tropical, sub-tropical, and coastal region of the country.
In recent years, the recognition of the importance of bananas and plantains, as household food, nutritional security and social security, has grown in many parts of the world. In India, there has been a significant increase in terms of area, production, and productivity in the last two decades, Singh said.
Today, bananas are cultivated in over 130 countries across the world. According to 2013 statistics by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), five million hectare yield 103.63 million tonne of bananas and plantains, he added.
India is the largest producer of bananas in the world, with 29.7 million tonne (MT) from an area of 0.88 million hectare, with a productivity of 37MT/ha, the minister stated.
It is predicted that with the ever-increasing demand, 60MT of banana will be needed to meet the domestic demand in 2050, he added.
There is also a considerable scope for the export of bananas and its products, which further enhances the demand, Singh said.
Bananas and plantains are continuously showing an impressive growth worldwide. Its year-round availability, affordability, taste, nutritional and medicinal value makes it the favourite fruit among every section of the society with good export potential, he added.
New issues in WTO important for aspirational India: Suresh Prabhu
Feb 21, 2018
Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu today said that aspirational India cannot ignore new issues such as e-commerce in WTO but it has to articulate its position without sacrificing core matters which are important.
We must work on new issues as well... The question is that how do we articulate those issues and take them on board without compromising on some of the core issues that are important for the WTO, he said here.
He was addressing the concluding day of brainstorming session on World Trade Organization (WTO). The minister's speech was posted on Facebook.
The participants included representatives from industry, former commerce secretaries, government officials, academia, think tanks, civil society and trade policy experts.
While most of the developed countries are pushing to put new issues including investment facilitation, e-commerce, MSMEs and gender on the negotiating table of the WTO,
developing countries like India are apprehensive that it might dilute the existing agenda such as agriculture and development.
Taking a pragmatic approach, Prabhu said that these issues are also of relevant to aspirational India and can not be all together ignored.
The Economic Times
Rice exports surge on strong demand, dip in Thai stocks
Feb 21, 2018
Strong demand from neighbours Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and steady off-take from traditional buyers in Africa has led to a surge in the country’s non-basmati rice exports, which are likely to rise to new highs this financial year.
Besides, the depleted stock levels in Thailand — a major exporter — has helped India gain and consolidate its share in the global market, trade sources said.
Shipments soar 40%
For the first nine months of the current fiscal, the non-basmati exports have registered a growth of 40 per cent in volumes at 63.38 lakh tonnes (lt) and 46 per cent increase in value terms at Rs.16,803 crore over corresponding period last year.
Non-basmati rice shipments, after reaching a record 82.74 lt in 2014-15, had dropped in the subsequent year to around 64.64 lt. However, over the past couple of years, the Indian shipments have staged a rebound. Steady growth in domestic output of over 100 million tonnes annually, has resulted in a surplus aiding the shipment trend since 2011-12, when the exports curbs were removed.
For the current 2017-18 year, the government is targeting a rice production of 108.5 mt , marginally lower than the fourth advance estimates of 110.15 mt during 2016-17. Rice stocks with the Food Corporation of India stood at 198.93 lt as on February 1 this year against 170.28 lt in the corresponding period last year.
The Hindu Business Line
It’s time to focus on execution of policies
Feb 21, 2018
The government presented another Union Budget, the last before the general elections next year. There was concern all around on the possibility of it being a populist Budget while abandoning the structural investment path that the government has worked on in the last few years. The concerns were unfounded as the government managed a fine balancing act with another well-rounded Budget.
The key emphasis in the Budget has been on the rural sector, especially around agriculture and rural infrastructure including Housing for All. With over Rs 14 lakh crore to be spent on creation of livelihood and infrastructure in rural areas, we can expect to see a strong surge in consumption as well. Industries like consumers goods, tractors, motorcycles and even services sector will be positively impacted by this and we can expect to see private sector investments starting to come back next year on the back of the consumption-driven growth.
The Economic Times
To boost trade, Dhaka seeks access to Kolkata port
Feb 21, 2018
Bangladesh has sought access to the Kolkata port to carry out export-import activities, according to sources. The access may help Bangladesh attract Indian investments in designated Special Economic Zoness on the West Bengal border.
A formal presentation in this regard was placed during Commerce Secretary-level bilateral talks in Dhaka on February 7 and 8.
The proposal, which came through the bilateral platform, will contribute to the BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal) sub-regional initiative.
Nepal and Bhutan have access to Indian ports through the bilateral framework. Both the Himalayan countries also access Bangladesh through Indian territories. While Nepal accesses Bangladesh by road, Bhutan uses both road and inland waterways.
Under the BBIN initiatives, India has better and wider logistics infrastructure to help both the countries access the Chittagong and Mongla ports in Bangladesh through India.
The Hindu Business Line
Indian government announces plan to stabilize prices of potatoes, onions and tomatoes
Feb 21, 2018
Union Food Processing Industries Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal last Tuesday said the Indian federal government was planning to draw a sustainable roadmap to keep soaring prices of staples tomato, onion and potato under control.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal, Minister of Food Processing Industries:
Under 'Operation Greens', we shall be creating a sustainable road map to ensure that tomato onion potato (TOP) are available in every nook and corner of the country round the year without any price volatility.
Last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said the vegetables growers were among his government's priority and Rs 500 crore (about 80 million USD) has been allocated for Operation Greens, which aims at doubling farmers' income by 2022.
Badal also said the government had plans to compress the supply chains and create appropriate climate infrastructure for natural preservation of these commodities, besides promoting Farmers Producers Organizations, Agri Logistics Processing facilities and professional management.
The Minister said establishment of Specialised Agro Processing Financial Institutions as announced in the Union Budget would unlock finance for setting up food processing industries.
Harsimrat Kaur Badal:
These institutions would help overcome the deterrents faced while installing food processing projects that are capital intensive and have long gestation period, by ensuring timely, accessible and affordable credit to this sector.
She said the thrust was given in the Budget for promoting agri-clusters and mega food parks to strengthen farmers.
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