Mumbai: In yet another instance the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has ordered food business operators (FBOs) across India to use blue food colour in the manufacturing of industrial ice to differentiate it from the edible ice, which will remain colourless. The order shall come into effect from June 2018.
A senior official said they have also directed the food safety commissioners of states and Union Territories (UTs) to enhance the surveillance and enforcement on the sale of non-edible ice so as to ensure compliance with this directive. The circular by the country’s apex food regulator stated, “The use of non-edible ice, which is made from non-potable water, for an edible purpose is a health hazard. Similarly, the incorrect use of non-edible ice for preservation, storage and transportation of perishable food commodities may lead to food contamination.”
According to FSSAI, it has been observed that in the absence of any visible distinction between the edible and non-edible ice, the latter is also being used for consumption. FSSAI official said in order to check the misuse of non-edible ice as edible ice, FSSAI has decided that food colours Indigo Carmine and Brilliant Blue up to10 parts per million (ppm) must be used in production of non-edible ice and non-edible ice blocks coming in contact with the food products during preservation, storage or transportation of food commodities, to give it a bluish look or appearance, so as to enable clear difference between the two.
All the FBOs engaged in the production or use of edible or non-edible ice must ensure the visible distinction between the two by using food colour in non-edible ice by June 2018. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra, in the month of April 2018, directed the businesses involved in the manufacturing of industrial ice to use blue colour to differentiate it from the edible ice. “A meeting was held with various stake holders related to the manufacturing of industrial ice, and it was decided to make the use of blue colour for industrial purposes, whereas edible ice should look crystal clear,” added Dr Pallavi Darade, FDA Commissioner.
She added from June 1, people, from across the country, can spot the difference between the blue and white ice. The ice manufacturing companies have been asked to adhere to the government’s guidelines. If anyone is found to be violating the law, strict action will be taken against them.”