01 Nov 2018Posted By: Mudit Handa

FSSAI sets new quality standards to avoid adulteration in honey

The fact is beyond any contradiction that FSSAI has been rigorously scrutinizing various kinds of domains under the food industry, because of which many striking insights with respect to food license and other compliance that have been brought to the limelight and are now known to people at large.

The food safety regulator had conducted a food safety audit throughout India with a view to address the key concerns regarding food safety and impart awareness among all the food businesses towards the maintenance of food safety & hygiene in the various processes involved in the food production. Besides, the audit was also aimed at inculcating seriousness towards the FSSAI Registration & FSSAI license.

  • Post the food safety audit, the FSSAI had revealed alarming facts concerning food safety violations, especially the milk processing industry, where the food safety watchdog had traced around 89.2% adulteration in milk processed throughout India.
  • The supreme food safety regulation authority FSSAI has now revealed about rampant adulteration in honey and its by-products and has come out with separate food safety standards, in a bid to curb such foul practices.


#1. Why has FSSAI introduced separate quality standards for honey products?

As discussed above, the chief food safety regulator has spotted widespread adulteration in honey and its by-products by a number of vendors in the country who always claim to sell 100% authentic & natural honey.

  • The recent decision of developing quality standards for honey comes in the light of government’s rigorous efforts directed towards the promotion of apiculture and to uplift the farmers who venture their lives and savings into the beekeeping business in a hope to raise their income levels.
  • According to the authority, the newly framed quality standards will also enable farmers to fetch higher prices for their produce.


#2. How is the adulteration spotted in honey?

As per the clear directives of FSSAI, the pure variety honey is the one that complies with 18 parameters of quality and purity. Some of these include sucrose content, glucose proportion, pollen-grain count, foreign oligosaccharides among several others.


#3. How will honey be regulated as per new FSSAI standards?

The FSSAI has broadly insisted on issuing of FSSAI Registration & FSSAI license by the wholesalers and retail suppliers of honey and its products. Besides, the food safety watchdog fixed maximum limit of natural ingredients in honey. As per the new standards, pure honey should contain-

  • 5% of sucrose content in the honey,
  • 10% of carviacallosa and Honeydew honey.
  • Maximum 20% moisture should be present; and
  • Pollen count should be 25,000 pollen-grains per gram of honey.


#4. What will FSSAI do to curb adulteration in honey?

FSSAI has clearly explained that if a supplier sells a product as ‘pure honey’ then no external food ingredients, that includes food additives should be added to it. It should not be heated or processed such that its essential natural composition is altered and its quality is affected.

Besides FSSAI has given a plain definition of pure honey, according to which-

"Honey is a sweet natural substance produced by honey bees from the nectar of flowers and from other secretions of plants or herb, which the bees collect, transform and store in honeycombs for ripening."

Clearly, the presence of additional ingredient is denied as per this definition.


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