The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) vide a letter dated 23rd December 2019 has informed that it will enhance the surveillance, sampling and enforcement to check the use of golden syrup, invert sugar syrup and rice syrup in honey as these syrups are being used in production honey in cheaper cost.
Honey has been a target of adulteration through artificial colours and sugars for a long time now. It is believed that Adulteration with golden syrup, invert sugar syrup and rice syrup in honey is common in honey. It is because the syrups are cheaper and having similar physical properties as honey which led the Food Business Operators (FBOs) to engage in falsification practices to produce honey in cheaper price. The standards for honey are prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulation which made the use of these adulterants a regulatory offence.
So, to prevent the use of these syrups in honey, FSSAI has notified the following points-
- To ensure the quality of honey and to contain the misuse of golden syrup/ invert sugar syrup/ rice syrup in production of honey, the inspecting officers are required to inspect the premises of honey manufacturing and processing units at regular intervals.
- During inspection, if any evidence of presence of golden syrup/ invert sugar syrup/ rice syrup in any containers or jars or receptacles are reported, the FBOs are required to be prosecuted as per Section 57 of the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006. As per the Section 57, penalty for possessing adulterant is – a.not exceeding 2 lakhs if such adulterant is not injurious to health. b. not exceeding 10 Lakhs if the adulterant is injurious to health.
- Apart from carrying out periodic inspections of the premises which are in their jurisdiction, the food Inspector will also have to submit the action taken report to the FSSAI’s regulatory compliance department.