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Govt working with spice makers to ensure EtO norm compliance; asks Everest to take corrective action

In view of the reports on the recall of two Indian spice brands' -- MDH and Everest -- products in Singapore and Hong Kong due to the presence of ethylene oxide (EtO) residue in certain spices, the government has conducted these tests on the presence of this carcinogenic chemical.
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 16:58 IST
Last Updated : 20 May 2024, 16:58 IST

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New Delhi: The government has found that some samples of Everest Spices were non-compliant under the strictest standards (0.1 mg per Kg) regarding presence of ethylene oxide and it has been asked to take corrective measures, an official said on Monday.

In view of the reports on the recall of two Indian spice brands' -- MDH and Everest -- products in Singapore and Hong Kong due to the presence of ethylene oxide (EtO) residue in certain spices, the government has conducted these tests on the presence of this carcinogenic chemical.

"We have carried out sample testing from both these companies and we have found that all 18 samples of MDH were compliant with standards. However, in case of Everest, some of the samples (out of 12) were non-complaint and for that we have told them to take corrective actions and we are working with them to ensure that they are compliant," the official said.

An emailed query sent to Everest remained unanswered.

Different countries follow different MRL (maximum residual limit) for EtO. While the EU has fixed this limit at 0.02-0.1 mg per kg, Singapore's limit is 50 mg per kg and Japan has 0.01 mg per kg.

These samples were tested for 0.1 mg per kg.

Spices exports rose 12.27 per cent to USD 405.62 million in April.

The official also said the requirements over MRL are evolving over time and the spices industry is fully aware of this.

"We have had three industry-wide consultations on the issue. They are also looking at alternatives to Eto use. There are alternate technologies that are being used by many exporters and these are being examined by the industry," the official added.

"Our compliances have gone up and our rejections have gone down," the official said, adding that the government is also running training programmes with the US FDA and World Trade Organisation for capacity building of spices exporters so that they meet the MRL requirements.

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Published 20 May 2024, 16:58 IST

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