It has been observed time and again that various fake news are circulated through social media channels such as youtube, whatsapp, facebook etc which has a wide reach among masses. These fake news are baseless and doesn't have any scientific facts related to them and due to its presentation, they create a situation of panic among citizens. With all the false and misleading information propagated through these mediums, FSSAI in consultation with the subject experts shares clarification on these fake news. FSSAI also urge citizens to neither believe nor circulate these fake news through their social media channels.
GUIDELINES ISSUED BY WORLD HEALTH ORGANISATION- SOUTH EAST ASIA
CLARIFICATION ON PACKAGED SALT BEING ADULTERATED WITH DETERGENT:
A video surfaced on social media channels, claiming adulteration of salt with detergent. Video: Myth on Adulteration of Salt with Detergent
When we completely dissolve any solid substance (solute) in a liquid substance (solvent) it is known as a solution. In this case, salt (solute) dissolves in water (solvent) to form a solution. There is a maximum limit for every solute to dissolve in a fixed amount of solvent, also known as saturation point.
Generally, maximum 35 gram of pure salt can be dissolved in 100 ml of water (known as saturated solution). If more salt is added to this water, it will not get dissolved. Similarly, to dissolve larger amount of salts, more volume of water is required. Eg: 500 gram salt will dissolve in approximately 1.5 liters of water.
In the video, a large amount of salt is being mixed in small quantity of water, leading to formation of lumps and foam and being wrongly perceived as adulteration with the detergent. Also, a small amount of insoluble particles, silica, phosphates, sulphates, permitted food additives, and in case of Double Fortified Salt (DFS), additionally Encapsulated Ferrous Fumarate (EFF) particles may be visible. These are permissible as per FSS (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011 and are not considered adulterants.
CLARIFICATION ON STANDARDS FOR CHOCOLATE, ALLOWING INSECTS:
According to FSSAI’s standards, any chocolate should be free from insects and other contaminants. Any rumor stating that FSSAI has permitted insects in chocolate manufacturing process, are false.
Regulation 2.7.4 of FSS (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations 2011 specifies quality standards for Chocolate and its types. Further, sub-regulation 3 of this 2.7.4: chocolate standard clearly specifies that the material shall be free from rancidity or off odour, insect and fungus infestation, filth, adulterants and any harmful or injurious matter.
Complete food standards on chocolate in India can be found below
CLARIFICATION REGARDING CONSUMPTION OF POULTRY PRODUCTS AND CORONA VIRUS
The predominant route or transmission of 2019-nCoV (Corona Virus) appears to be human to human as per OIE, though 2019-nCoV may have had an animal source, which requires further investigation. Poultry has not been found to be involved in transmission of 2019-nCoV to humans so far in any report globally.
Similarly, outbreaks of Corona Virus in the past (SARS 2002-03, MERS 2012·13) or Corona associated common cold had no involvement of poultry or poultry products world over.
Thus, with present knowledge of affairs of 2019-nCoV, consumption of poultry and poultry products may be considered safe. General principles of hygiene, however, may be followed as per suggestions of WHO/OIE. To view the official document regarding the same, Visit Here size:( 0.08 MB)
CLARIFICATION REGARDING FERROCYANIDES IN SALT
Ferrocyanides are approved anti-caking agents for common salt including edible common salt, Iron fortified salt and Iodized salt as per FSSAI Regulations. In India it is allowed at level of 10 mg / kg compared to EU regulations where it is allowed 20 mg / Kg of salt.
With regards to the apt level of exposure of cyanide from such of the above substances, recently one of the highly respected bodies in world of Science, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has opined that acceptable daily intake of sodium/potassium/calcium ferrocyanides is 0.03 mg per Kg body weight per day expressed as ferrocyanide ion.
Detailed information on Ferrocyanides in Salt can be found at here size:( 0.5 MB)
CLARIFICATION ABOUT PLASTIC EGGS
There is no technology or chemicals available to complete the manufacturing of whole eggs. Also, it is not economically viable process since normal eggs are available in abundance & at an affordable price.[+]
A thick eggshell membrane indicates the freshness of the eggs. When the egg is fresh, there is not enough time for evaporation to separate the 2 membranes (outer and inner layers) causing it to stick to each other. This makes it look thicker and stronger when it is peeled. Also, the inner shell membrane of the eggs may become harder & elastic when it is older than 15 days, which is a natural ageing process.
The reason why eggs differ from each other is because of difference in quality of feed, breed of bird, ageing of eggs & the handling of eggs.
As the egg ages, the egg white changes its consistency, becomes thin and runny and finally egg yolk and white dissolve into each other & this mixing is aggravated by temperature abuse & not because egg is made artificially.
Detailed information on egg quality and safety is available at https://fssai.gov.in/cms/guidance-notes.php
CLARIFICATION REGARDING MELAMINE IN INFANT MILK
Melamine has no known food uses. Melamine could be present in a food either on account of its incidental presence (as a contaminant) or due to deliberate addition (as an adulterant) for economic gains..[+]
It must be noted that use of melamine either as an ingredient or as an additive is not permitted in any food by FSSAI, although maximum limits for presence of melamine in food, including milk, have been prescribed to address the incidental presence of melamine as a contaminant. This is as per international standards and is based on a proper risk assessment with respect to consumer health safety. Setting up of such limits certainly does not mean that FSSAI allow addition of melamine to foods even within the specified maximum limit.
Detailed information on presence of melamine in milk is available at https://fssai.gov.in/all-whatnew.php
CLARIFICATION REGARDING PRESENCE OF PLASTIC IN WHEAT FLOUR
Wheat flour naturally contains 2 proteins – Glutenin- for elasticity & Gliadin- for raising of dough. In the presence of water, these 2 proteins bond together to create an elastic network of protein called gluten strings. Gluten is the rubbery mass that is left when wheat flour dough is washed with water & this is maliciously referred to as plastic..[+]
Detailed information on presence of plastic in wheat flour is available at https://fssai.gov.in/all-whatnew.php
CLARIFICATION REGARDING PRESENCE OF PLASTIC RICE IN MARKET
It is the natural phenomenon of rice to burn since it is a complex carbohydrate and since rice is 80% starch, it has cohesive and adhesive properties and when the rice is cooked and transformed into ball, the air gets entrapped & becomes bouncy like a ball. Thus, it should be ruled out that the rice contain plastic.[+]
CLARIFICATION REGARDING PRESENCE OF PLASTIC IN SNACKS
The snacks such as namkeens and potato chips are mainly made of cereals, spices and oil and the carbohydrate and fat have a natural characteristic of burning when exposed to fire. Thus, it should be ruled out that they contain plastic.[+]