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FRUITS & VEGETABLE

FSSAI sets minimum salt content and maximum pH value for table olives
Monday, 12 June, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Shraddha Joshi, Mumbai
In its recent notification, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) operationalised the standards for table olives, in which it set the limit for minimum salt content at six per cent and maximum potential of hydrogen (pH) value at 4.3.

For treated olives, the salt content was set at five per cent and the pH value was 4.3; for dehydrated or shrivelled olives, the salt content was fixed at eight per cent, while the pH value was put at the good manufacturing level (GMP) level, and for olives darkened by oxidation with alkaline treatment, the salt and pH values were set at GMP levels.
 
Under the labelling requirements, the standards stated that in case of stuffed olives, the label should give the information on the style of the stuffing, along with the combination of ingredients.

The industry welcomed the move, saying that the standards were set largely based on the recommendations made by the food business operators (FBOs).

“We have welcomed the move. It is largely based on our representation. We had urged the authority to make standards based on GMP, which is also a part of Codex. Earlier, there was a minimum limit for pH value. Now, FSSAI has incorporated the maximum limit for pH value and salt content was also set at GMP levels,” said Amit Lohani, convener, Federation of Indian Food Importers (FIFI).

Meanwhile, the FSSAI has ordered all the FBOs to follow the standards, and the enforcement of these standards has commenced.

The draft defined table olives as the product prepared from the sound fresh fruits of varieties of the cultivated olive tree (Oleaeuropaea L), having reached proper maturity for processing, whose shape, flesh-to-stone ratio, fine flesh, taste, firmness and ease of detachment from the stone make them suitable for processing and the characteristic colour, flavour, odour and texture of the fruits.

Earlier, FSSAI drafted standards and notified them in the gazette. These were put up for comments and suggestions from stakeholders in November 2016.
 
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