The Indian Olive Association (IOA) has raised objections to new olive oil standards proposed by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The objections pertain to the mismatch between the standards proposed by FSSAI and the internationally accepted standards established by Codex and the International Olive Council (IOC).

The president of the Indian Olive Association, VN Dalmia, has written to the Chief Executive Officer of FSSAI, making suggestions that he said will help detect and prevent adulteration and rancidity in packaged olive oil. IOA is pressing for an amendment to the notification issued by the FSSAI regarding the proposed new standards, with a view to protecting consumer health and conforming to the international quality standards.

Suggestions made by Dalmia to the FSSAI include four items to be added to the proposed new standards listed below:

ItemReasonCodex / IOC Standard
Fatty Acid compositionTo detect and prevent adulteration.Codex Standards 3.9, IOC Standards - 3.1
Peroxide ValueTo detect rancidity.Codex Standards - 3.14, IOC Standards - 4.3
Pesticide ResidueTo safeguard consumer health.Codex Standards - 5.2, IOC Standards - 6.2
Composition characteristicsTo detect and prevent adulteration.Codex Standards - 2.1

Dalmia said that changing the four items were essential to protecting consumer health and safety. He pointed out that the items were already a part of Codex and International Olive Council standards. Dalmia added that in order to conform to Codex standards, the FSSAI would have to add at least 15 items to its proposed new standards. Without the inclusion of the suggested items to the new standards, Dalmia said, the interests of the consumers and the olive oil industry would be “prejudiced.”

IOA had originally taken up with FSSAI the matter of amending trade standards for olive oil in 2007 and had proposed that Indian standards be amended to conform to IOC standards. Subsequently, FSSAI had agreed to consider amendments based on the standards prevalent in Codex and not those of IOC. While FSSAI’s new standards incorporate some of IOA’s suggestions, many items have been left out.

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