Ready-to-Eat Ex­truded Snacks They all failed the fat test

Consumer Voice - - The Surveillan­ce Series -

Ex­truded snacks may sound like too heavy a ter­mi­nol­ogy for your reg­u­lar Kurkure, Fun Stix, and so on, but it’s just a way to de­mar­cate a cat­e­gory of snacks made by a dif­fer­ent process – in this case, ex­tru­sion cook­ing. While this process of­fers scope for de­vel­op­ing rel­a­tively healthy vari­ants (with al­ter­na­tive flours and grains) and in­ven­tive shapes, stan­dards for this cat­e­gory of snacks are yet to be es­tab­lished in In­dia’s food safety reg­u­la­tions. The five brands we have tested are all pro­pri­etary foods, which means that there are no stan­dards for th­ese in the food reg­u­la­tions. Yet, there must be some bench­marks to abide by. For in­stance, a ma­jor safety cri­te­rion for readyto-eat ex­truded snacks is to­tal bac­te­rial count. As you will find in the re­port, not all the brands ful­fil this safety as­pect.

The Food Safety and Stan­dards Reg­u­la­tions pro­vide no stan­dard for this prod­uct cat­e­gory, though the In­dian Stan­dards IS 12566:1989 un­der ‘ready-to-eat ex­truded snacks’ spec­i­fi­ca­tion pre­scribes lim­its for var­i­ous as­pects such as fat con­tent and bac­te­rial count. Th­ese re­quire­ments are not manda­tory for man­u­fac­tur­ers and it may be noted that no ISI mark was found on the prod­ucts we tested. As a mat­ter of fact, all of the tested prod­ucts ex­ceeded the limit for fat con­tent.

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