In order to further strengthen the food safety norms, India’s apex food regulator, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has issued gazette notification for instant noodles, durum wheat maida, quinoa and pearl millet flour under the cereal and cereal product category.
The newly drafted standards will be added to the existing standards for the cereal and cereal product category, which will help to effectively regulate them for their food safety and quality. These regulations may be called the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Twelfth Amendment Regulations, 2017.
As per the gazette notification, under the sub-regulation relating to macaroni products, the standards for instant noodles have been added. These standards will not be applicable to noodle seasoning.
Instant noodles are defined as, “Instant noodles (not applied to noodle seasoning) mean the product prepared from wheat flour, or rice flour, or flour of any other cereals, millets and legumes covered or in combination thereof, or flour from tubers and water as the main ingredient, with or without the addition of herbs, condiments and seasonings, spices, iodised salt, sugar and wheat gluten by kneading the dough and extending it, and starches, dried fruits and vegetables, or their products or extracts, nuts, edible protein and egg powder, meat, poultry, marine or their products (whose standards are prescribed in these regulations) may be added, if required.”
It added, “Instant noodles can be characterised by the use of pregelatinisation process and dehydration either by frying in any oil or fat covered by other methods, and the product shall be presented as fried noodles or non-fried noodles.”
“The product shall be of good characteristic colour, appearance, texture, aroma and taste and shall be free from undesirable taste, dirt, insect larvae, impurities or any other extraneous matter,” the notification stated.
It further clarified that the manufacturer shall label seasoning, if any, accompanying the instant noodles distinctly on the package.
Durum wheat maida-
Under the category of maida, the country’s apex food regulator has included the durum wheat maida, which is defined as product prepared from grains of durum wheat (Triticum durum Desf) by grinding or milling process, in which the bran and germ are essentially removed and the remainder is comminuted to a suitable degree of fineness.
The maximum limit set for moisture (per cent by mass) is 13, whereas the maximum total ash and acid insoluble ash in dilute HCI (on dry matter basis) will be 1.75 per cent and 0.15 per cent, respectively.
Alcoholic acidity (with 90 per cent alcohol expressed as H2SO4) will be maximum 0.12 per cent with mimimum 11 per cent protein (Nx 6.25) on dry matter basis.
The particle size would be minimum 80 per cent and shall pass through a 315-micron silk gauze or man-made textile sieve.
Under the foodgrains clause, quinoa has been added. It is defined as, “The dried matured grain obtained from the plant of Chenopodium quinoa, from which saponin has been removed by washing, scouring, dehulling or by any other suitable process.”