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FSSAI gazette notifies revised stds of honey
Thursday, 02 December, 2021, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has notified the revised standards of honey in the gazette. These standards are applicable to packaged/ processed honey.  

These standards were earlier  operationalised in July 2020 under the Food Safety & Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2020.  

The notified regulation says that in FSS (Food Product and Food Additive) Regulations, 2011, in regulations 2.8 relating to sweetening agents including Honey, in the sub regulations 2.8.3 related to honey and its product, definitions were added for Blossom Honey or Nectar Honey as the honey which comes from nectars of plant and Honeydew Honey as the honey which comes mainly from excretion of plant sucking insects-(hemiptera) on the living parts of plants or secretion of living parts of plant.

According to the notified regulation, honey is the natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants or excretions of plant sucking insects on the living parts of plants, which the bees collect, transform by combining with specific substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store and leave in the honeycomb to ripen and mature.

Also, honey shall be labelled as, ‘Honeydew Honey’ - If the product complies with the prescribed definitions, ‘Blend of Honeydew Honey and Blossom Honey’ – If the product is mixture of Blossom or Nectar Honey and Honeydew honey  and ‘Carvia Callosa Honey’ - If the honey is derived from flower of Carviacallosa plant which is described as thixotrophic and is gel like extremely viscous when standing still and turns into liquid when agitated or stirred.  

And if the honey is obtained by pressing broodless combs, honey shall be labelled as “Pressed Honey”. If honey belongs to any of the categories prescribed under these regulations and also falling into the category of pressed honey, it shall be labelled as “Pressed Honeydew Honey” or “Pressed and Blend of Honeydew Honey and Blossom Honey” or “Pressed Carvia Callosa Honey”.

Further, honey may also be labelled as according to floral or plant source, if it comes from any particular source and has the organoleptic, physicochemical and microscopic properties corresponding with that origin as ‘Monofloral Honey’ - If the minimum pollen content of the plant species concerned is not less than 45 percent of total pollen content or ‘Multi Floral Honey’– If the pollen content of any of the plant species does not exceed 45 percent of the total pollen content.

The amendment also prescribes 17 parameters under item (V) of the said regulations like specific gravity, moisture percent by mass foreign oligosaccharides, electrical conductivity etc. used for testing of honey for its purity.
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