FSSAI has come out with food safety standards for honey and its products, in a bid to curb adulteration.
The move comes in the wake of government promoting farmers to venture into the beekeeping business to increase their income. The standards will help fetch farmers better prices for their products. At present, there are no separate quality standards for honey and its products.
Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) CEO Pawan Agarwal said, ‘We have notified the standards for honey and its products recently. This will help address adulteration. Both domestic manufacturers and importers will have to comply with the new norms’.
As per the FSSAI notification, honey should comply with 18 parameters like that of sucrose content, glucose ratio, pollen count, foreign oligosaccharides among others.
The FSSAI has fixed maximum 5 per cent limit for sucrose content in the honey, while 10 per cent for carviacallosa and Honeydew honey. The moisture percentage should be maximum 20 per cent and pollen count should be 25,000 per gram.
With regard to by-products, the FSSAI has fixed standards for ‘Bees wax’ and ‘royal jelly’ also.
Bees wax is obtained from the honeycombs of bees of Apidae family after the honey has been removed by draining or centrifuging. The combs are melted with hot water, steam or solar heat and the melted product is filtered and cast into cakes of yellow bees wax.
White bees wax is obtained by bleaching the yellow bees wax with oxidising agents. Beeswax consists of a mixture of esters of fatty acids and fatty alcohols, hydrocarbons and free fatty acids. Minor amounts of free fatty alcohols are also present
Royal jelly is the mixture of secretions from hypopharyngeal and mandibular glands of worker bees, free from any additive. It is the food of larval and adult queens.
It is a raw and natural food, unprocessed except for filtration which does not undergo addition of substances. The colour, taste and the chemical composition of royal jelly are determined by absorption and transformation by the bees fed with the following two types of foods during the royal jelly production time.
The regulator has defined honey as the natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from the nectar of blossoms or from secretions of plants, which honey bees collect, transform and store in honey combs for ripening.