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FSSAI to check Spices after Singapore & Hong Kong Ban Indian Spices

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 30-04-2024
FSSAI to check Spices after Singapore & Hong Kong Ban Indian Spices Economy 5 min read

The Indian food regulator FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) has announced that it will start checking the quality of spices and culinary herbs within the country. The FSSAI announcement comes after Hong Kong and Singapore banned the four spices mixes of two Indian companies, Everest and MDH, for containing carcinogenic substances. 

The Maldivian government has also banned the sale of Everest and MDH companies' spices in the country. The United States has also said that it will conduct a quality check of the spices made by the two Indian companies.

Spices of Everest and MDH banned by Singapore and Hong Kong 

The health authorities in Hong Kong and Singapore banned the sale of four spice mixes of Everest and MDH due to the presence of the cancer-causing pesticide ethylene oxide above the acceptable limits. 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified ethylene oxide as a major carcinogen that causes cancer in humans.

In Hong Kong, three of the four failed products belonged to the MDH brand and one to Everest. Singapore's food safety department banned the Fish Curry Masala manufactured by spice maker Everest due to the high presence of ethylene oxide.

FSSAI to expand its surveillance in 2024-25 

The FSSAI said that as part of its function to implement the various food safety regulations, it will carry additional surveillance of food items like fruit and vegetables, salmonella in fish products, spice and culinary herbs, fortified rice, milk and milk products in 2024-25.

The FSSAI said that the number of samples it tested has grown from 108,000 lakh in 2020-21 to 450,000 in 2023-24. The state government takes action against violations of food safety laws. 

Spice Trade and India 

India is the largest producer, consumer, and exporter of spices in the world. During 2022-23, the country exported 1404357 tons of spices/spice products valued at Rs.31761 crore (3952.60 million US$).

During 2022-23, the single largest spice exported from India was chilli, followed by cumins and Oleoresins.

Major markets of Indian Spices 

India exports spices to more than 180 countries,

In 2022-23, China was the largest importer of Indian spices, followed by the USA, Bangladesh, the UAE, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, the UK, and Sri Lanka.

The largest spice-producing states in India were Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Assam, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala.

Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) was set up in 2008 under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006.

FSSAI is a statutory body which is under the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

FSSAI has been created to lay down science-based standards for food and to regulate its manufacture, storage, distribution, sale, and import to ensure the availability of safe and wholesome food for human consumption.

Headquarters: New Delhi 

Regional Offices: Delhi, Guwahati, Mumbai, Kolkata, Cochin and Chennai


Answer: MDH and Everest.

Answer: Ethylene oxide. It is used as a pesticide, but it is also carcinogenic, which causes cancer in human beings.

Answer: China

Answer: Madhya Pradesh

Answer: New Delhi

Answer: Chilli.
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