‘Govt comes out with detailed guidelines to prevent EtO contamination in spices exported from India’

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European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) could not conclude on the genotoxicity and carcinogenicity of 2-CE and therefore no safe level could be derived and a standard risk assessment could not be performed.

“Impact of EtO residue and 2-CE presence in food is not a settled issue,” the official said.

Ethylene oxide is often used in the food industry to reduce bacterial load, yeast and mould, and coliforms, as a fumigant.

“Indian food is more compliant to global norms and our rejection rate is very low. There has been a drastic decline in alerts on Indian food consignments and a lot of work has been done in that direction,” the official said.

In 2023-24, India’s spice exports totalled USD 4.25 billion against 3.7 billion in 2022-23. India’s exports account for a 12 per cent share of the global spice exports.

The major spices exported from India include chilli powder, which topped the list with USD 1.3 billion in exports, followed by cumin at USD 550 million, turmeric at USD 220 million, cardamom at USD 130 million, mixed spices at USD 110 million, and spice oils and oleoresins at USD 1 billion.

Other notable exports were asafoetida, saffron, anise, nutmeg, mace, clove, and cinnamon.

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