Consumer Voice - - Comparative Test -


Food Safety and Stan­dards (Food Prod­ucts Stan­dards and Food Ad­di­tives) Reg­u­la­tions, 2011 (Ap­pen­dix B, Ta­ble 2 notes), spec­i­fies mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal re­quire­ments at man­u­fac­tur­ing unit only. There is no re­quire­ment at retail level. How­ever, mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal re­quire­ments should be main­tained up to re­tailer’s end as con­sumers buy the pa­neer di­rectly from the re­tailer. Most ed­i­ble prod­ucts are nor­mally con­tam­i­nated with mi­crobes (or micro­organ­isms). They are so small that we need a mi­cro­scope to see them. Mi­crobes in­clude bac­te­ria, yeast, mould, al­gae, and pro­to­zoan. How­ever, the or­gan­isms that nor­mally con­tam­i­nate and spoil foods are the bac­terium with yeast and moulds of sec­ondary im­por­tance. Un­der nor­mal con­di­tions, mi­crobes feed on the food in which they live and re­pro­duce and cause a va­ri­ety of changes in the food, most of which re­sult in a loss of the food’s qual­ity. Hence, there’s an ac­cept­able stan­dard limit of mi­crobes pre­scribed for each food item. Given here are ac­cept­able and non-ac­cept­able lim­its of to­tal plate count (TPC), co­l­iform, and yeast and mould for pa­neer. i) To­tal plate count (TPC, colony-form­ing unit [cfu]/gm)

m: 300,000 per gram, M: 500,000 per gram ii) Co­l­iform (cfu/gram)

m: 50 per gram, M: 90 per gram iii) Yeast and mould (cfu/gram)

m: 150 per gram, M: 250 per gram Here ‘m’ rep­re­sents an ac­cept­able level; val­ues that are only marginally above it are ac­cept­able. The ‘M’ here shows a mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cal cri­te­rion that sep­a­rates ‘marginally ac­cept­able qual­ity’ from ‘un­sat­is­fac­tory/ po­ten­tially haz­ardous qual­ity’. Val­ues above M are un­ac­cept­able in terms of the sam­pling plan and de­tec­tion of one or more sam­ples ex­ceed­ing this level will be cause for re­jec­tion of the lot.

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