FSSAI Reports: No Ethylene Oxide Detected in MDH and Everest Spices Across 28 Lab Tests

New Delhi (PTI): The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has reported no traces of ethylene oxide in samples of spices from major brands MDH and Everest tested in 28 accredited laboratories, according to sources. Reports from six additional laboratories are still pending.

Last month, FSSAI initiated a nationwide sampling of powdered spices from all brands, including MDH and Everest, following quality concerns raised by Hong Kong and Singapore.

The Hong Kong Center for Food Safety (CFS) has advised consumers to avoid certain MDH and Everest spice products due to ethylene oxide levels exceeding permissible limits. These products included MDH’s Madras Curry Powder, Everest Fish Curry Masala, MDH Sambhar Masala Mixed Masala Powder, and MDH Curry Powder Mixed Masala Powder.

A pan-India drive, starting on April 22, involved all state and Union Territory food safety commissioners and FSSAI regional directors. This drive included extensive inspections of spice manufacturing units and sampling and testing products for compliance with quality and safety parameters, including pesticide residues and ethylene oxide (ETO).

FSSAI collected samples from Everest’s two manufacturing facilities and 25 samples from MDH’s 11 facilities. The products were analyzed at NABL-accredited laboratories for quality and safety parameters, including ETO. The scientific panel at FSSAI reviewed the laboratory reports and found no traces of ethylene oxide in the samples.

Additionally, over 300 samples from other brands were tested and showed no ethylene oxide presence. The scientific panel included experts from the Spice Board, CSMCRI (Gujarat), Indian Spice Research Institute (Kerala), NIFTEM (Haryana), BARC (Mumbai), CMPAP (Lucknow), DRDO (Assam), ICAR, and the National Research Centre on Grapes (Pune).

According to sources, the Spice Board has issued guidelines to spice exporters on using ETO as a fumigant for sterilizing spices to meet the standards of importing countries.

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