The FSSAI clarifies myths relating to packages and regular food

There have been a lot of myths going on about food and the processing industry mainly causing panic and adding to the number of misinformed people, so here are some clarifications about them by the FSSAI post consulting multiple subject experts. Since most of this content is incorrect, it made sense to explain before there were any issues or panic among the general public. One of the most significant roles of the FSSAI is creating awareness and spreading knowledge about food and keeping it clean and safe for consumption.

Here are some of the misconceptions about adulterating food are

Massive companies add detergent and other adulterants to packaged salt

This is untrue since the FSSAI tests all products to double-check that this is not done. Additionally, there are smaller tests that can be handled at home so people can check this out for themselves. Every item that dissolved in water or a liquid has a saturation point, and just like that, so does salt. If the right amount of salt is added to the proper amount of water, you would find that there aren’t any added substances since it dissolves properly without leaving anything behind. Additionally, small amounts of insoluble particles like silica, phosphates, sulphates, permitted food additives, and in case of Double Fortified Salt (DFS), additionally Encapsulated Ferrous Fumarate (EFF) might be visible and added in salt and are permitted as per the FSS (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011 and not considered adulterants.

Additionally, there have been reports of other adulterants along with ferrocyanides being added to salt. Ferrocyanides are an anti-caking agent edible in common salt, Iron-fortified salt, and Iodized salt as per FSSAI regulations. In India, it is allowed at a level of 10 mg per kg as compared to the EU regulations that allow 20 mg per kg of salt.

Chocolates aren’t checked properly for insects

Based on the FSSAI’s standards and guidelines, all chocolates should be free from insects and other contaminants. Additionally, there are inspections conducted to make sure this does not happen. The FSSAI regulation 2.7.4 of FSS (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations 2011 specifies quality standards for Chocolate and its types. Furthermore,

sub-regulation 3 of this 2.7.4: chocolate standard specifies that the material shall be free from rancidity or odour, insect and fungus infestation, filth, adulterants and any harmful or injurious matter.

There are bits of plastic in chips and snacks

While there have been videos online showing chips being burned in a specific way, they are usually made of cereals, spices, oil, carbohydrate and fats that have characteristics of burning when exposed to fire.

There are plastic grains of rice is mixed with good product

It is natural for the rice to burn easily since it is made up of complex carbohydrates with 80% starch giving it cohesive and adhesive properties. Depending on the way it is prepared this claim can seem more real, for instance, rice balls sometimes have air trapped between the grains causing it to burn like plastic.

There is plastic added to wheat flour

Wheat flour is made up of two proteins: Glutenin, for elasticity and Gliadin, for raising as a dough. When water is added to the mix, these proteins bond to create an elastic network of a protein called a gluten string. Gluten is the rubbery mass left when wheat flour dough is washed with water causing it to be easily confused with plastic.

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Updated: August 20, 2020 — 5:01 am

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