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Ensuring Food Safety: India’s Spice Manufacturers Under Scrutiny

Ensuring Food Safety: India’s Spice Manufacturers Under Scrutiny

India’s rich culinary heritage relies heavily on aromatic spices.

India is renowned for its rich culinary heritage, and spices play a pivotal role in creating the vibrant flavours of Indian cuisine. However, recent concerns about pesticide residues in packed spice products have raised alarm bells. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is taking proactive steps to ensure food safety and adherence to regulations. Let’s delve into the details.

The Issue

The FSSAI, which oversees food safety standards in India, has collected over 1,500 spice samples from various regions across the country. These samples are being rigorously tested for chemicals, microbes, mycotoxins, Sudan dye, and as many as 234 pesticides, including Ethylene Oxide (ETO). The results of these tests are expected to be available within 15 days.

The Trigger

The quality checks were initiated after international agencies flagged the presence of ETO in pre-packaged spice mix products from two prominent Indian brands: MDH and Everest Spices. ETO is a pesticide used for fumigation purposes to aid in the storage of these products. While it is commonly used, products meant for export should not find their way into the domestic market.

Government’s Stance

The Indian government has taken a firm stance on this issue. If spice manufacturers are found guilty of flouting norms related to pesticide residue, their licenses will be cancelled. This move underscores the government’s commitment to ensuring food safety and protecting consumers.

The Way Forward

As consumers, we can play an active role by being aware of the products we purchase. Look for FSSAI-approved labels on spice packets, which indicate compliance with safety standards. Additionally, support local spice producers who prioritize quality and adhere to regulations.


Spices are an integral part of our culinary experiences, and their safety is paramount. The FSSAI’s efforts to monitor and regulate the spice industry are commendable. Let’s continue to enjoy the flavours of India while ensuring that our food is safe and wholesome.


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