FSSAI bans use of materials of animal origin in making silver leaf for sweets decorative

chandi ka warq (silver leaf)

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banned the use of materials of animal origin in the manufacturing of chandi ka warq (silver leaf), which is used to decorate sweets and pan. According to the recent notification by the apex regulator, the regulations will be known as the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Fifth Amendment Regulations, 2016.
In sub-regulation 2.11.4 (which pertains to chandi ka warq), FSSAI has prescribed the silver content and the form in which the leaf should be manufactured. The product should be food grade. It should be in the form of a sheet of uniform thickness, free from creases and folds. The weight of the silver leaf should be up to 2.8g/sq m, and silver content should be of minimum 999/1,000 fineness.
The last two clauses of the new regulation state that silver leaf should not be manufactured using any material of animal origin at any stage and (v) be in accordance with the provisions of the Food Safety and Standards (Contaminants, Toxins and Residues) Regulations, 2011 and Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011.
Piyush Singh, proprietor, Shree Jagannathji Sterling Products Pvt Ltd, said, “We have adopted the technology to manufacture these silver leaves as the thickness of the warq was standardised recently.” “Several other players in the unorganised sector will have to adopt technology for manufacturing as the parameters provided by FSSAI can only be availed through the usage of technology,” he added.
“After research of several years, I have developed a state-of-the-art technology-based manufacturing process,” Singh informed. Taking the enforcement activities a step forward, A N Panchal, food safety officer, food department, Rajkot Municipal Corporation, informed, “Our inspections in several areas revealed that the small-scale manufacturers which supply to local areas around them are still found using traditional methods for manufacturing warq.”
“On noticing that several players manufacture using traditional methods, we held a meeting of small-scale manufacturers to root out the problem,” he added. “Food safety officer (FSO) and designated officers (DO) were present at the meeting. We educated the manufacturers about the change of laws and suggested them to group up and manufacture together using technology as animal use is banned,” Panchal said.
“Recently, we registered 18 such small manufacturers, who did away with the traditional method and took up the use of technology,” he added. Devendra Kumar Verma, food safety officer, Madhya Pradesh Food and Drug Administration, said, “Any FBO who is involved in this business has to shift to the technology-based manufacturing process as FSSAI, in its new notification, has prescribed the thickness, weight and purity of silver which is to be present in the product.”
“With such underlying parameters, the product can be manufactured only by using machinery and technology,” he added. Verma stated the Food and Drug Administrations had been directed by the apex regulator to keep an eye on the FBOs who manufacture silver and gold leaves with traditional methods, especially on the unorganised markets as there are means to manufacture silver and gold leaves using technology.

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