School Kids Die Due To Presence of Insecticides In Mid-Day Meal; Presence of Organophophates


In an unfortunate event in Bihar, the mid-day meal for 21 children, consisting of Rice, Beans and Potato curry, became the last meal for them. Another two dozen kids were admitted to hospital in Patna. It was found that a poisonous insecticide Organophosphate was found in the meal. India has a national school lunch program, serving free meals to 120 million children in its 73,000 schools. In Bihar alone, 20 million receive the free meals. The Supreme Court of India ordered school lunches be provided in 2001, and the program has since grown into the world’s largest.

While popular with the children and credited with increasing school attendance, delivery of school lunches in India is complicated. Charities and non-government organizations along with local politicians are all involved, sometimes resulting in fraud and poor quality meals.

Provincial police are investigating the deaths and the school’s headmistress has gone into hiding, according to local news reports.

Source: Food Safety News

Anti-Dengue Fogging is a False Sense of Security ; Ineffective Measure for 25 Years


A Delhi based green NGO, Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has recently urged the government to focus on more effective measures for combating the largely spread Dengue, as the current measures of Fogging have been ineffective.

According to the NGO, the Anti-Dengue Fogging drives are nothing but a false sense of security among the public, a measure that is used by the Government’s for appeasement by wasting lakhs of litres of Diesel every year. CSE urged the government to focus on systematic preventive measures towards clean environment and sanitation. Its assessment said that 4.5 lakh litre of diesel could be used this year for fogging, which comes to 4,500 litres of diesel per day and is also equivalent to the usage of diesel by 2,000 cars in a day. CSE said that targeting adult mosquitoes offers temporary control and that too in limited settings and under ideal conditions and unless repeated frequently, fogging cannot control the next batch of adults out of the larvae. Thus, a source control is a must, using larvacides, to destroy the larva, and effectively prevent public from Dengue. The WHO guidelines on dengue too “questions” the role of fogging and recognises that fogging has been used by South-East Asian countries for the past 25 years but has not been effective.

“Medical experts suggest that direct inhalation of diesel fumes, combined with insecticides, can exacerbate asthma or bronchitis among those with respiratory ailments.

“Pregnant women, small children and old people are most susceptible to aggravation. Eye specialists also mention that diesel fumes can also cause irritation and itching on skin and eyes. Prolonged exposure could lead to temporary swelling of the corneas,” CSE said.

Source : NDTV

Demand Only Quality


Many congratulations to our readers and followers! FoodQuotient is growing slowly and steadily, and stepping forward with the aim of creating awareness among people about Food, Beverage and Environment, so that our consumers are able to take wise decisions while purchasing and follow a lifestyle that provides a healthy habitat!
Over the past three months, FoodQuotient has been very active over social media platforms – Facebook, Twitter, WordPress and LinkedIN. FoodQuotient is an initiative by FICCI Research and Analysis Centre, that is motivated by a goal of creating well aware consumers. If the buyers are well aware, the manufacturers shall need to ensure only quality products for consumers, and follow hygienic and safe manufacturing processes. FoodQuotient attempts to provide life hacks, video tutorials, quick tips, consultation about not just food and beverages, but even about how to interact with mother nature, to preserve it so as to live in a cleaner habitat!

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Junk Food At Schools Under FSSAI Scanner


The food regulatory authority of India, FSSAI has now brought Junk Foods under its scanner, and issued a list of guidelines to all the schools over its website. As per the drafted guidelines, country’s top food regulator is set to restrict consumption and availability of junk food in schools. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued draft guidelines on availability of wholesome and nutritious food in schools to control junk food consumption among children. (Official PDF Here)

Under the draft guidelines, which were first submitted to the court last year, food high in fat, salt or sugar will not be sold within 50 metres of a school’s premises.(Business Insider)

No Junk Food In Schools Now On

The objective of releasing this document is to provide wholesome, nutritional, hygienic and safe healthy food to the students across the 14 lakh schools in India. The lack of availability of balanced diet, nutritional food, awareness about food safety coupled with lack of physical activity among the school kids is the main central cause of many health related issues among school kids.

Read Also: Baba Makes his own version with Maggi

A healthy lifestyle is cornerstone of good health, physical fitness, energy and reduced risk for disease. It is based on the choices one makes about his or her daily habits. Good nutrition, daily exercise and adequate sleep are the foundations for continuing health lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle includes diet based on balance, variety and moderation coupled with regular physical activity commensurate with one’s age, gender and body constitution. As  per  “Dietary Guidelines  for  Indians,  2011”   by National  Institute  of  Nutrition  (NIN),  a balanced diet is one which provides all nutrients in required amounts and proper proportions. It should provide around 50-60% of total calories from carbohydrates, preferably from complex carbohydrates, about 10-15% from proteins and 20-30% from both visible and invisible fat. In addition, it should provide other non-nutrients such as dietary fibre, antioxidants, which bestow positive health benefits.

Read Also: Why We Crave For McDonald’s Food

Childhood  obesity

Childhood  obesity  is one  of  the  most  serious  public  health challenges  of the  21st  century. Overweight children are likely to become obese adults. As per WHO, about 44% of the diabetes burden and  23%  of  the  CYD  burden  is attributable to  overweight  and  obesity.  Overweight children are more likely than non-overweight children to develop insulin resistance, hyper­ insulinemia, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a younger age, which in turn are associated with a higher chance of premature death and disability”.

Diabetes and pediatric metabolic syndrome

Type  2 diabetes   which  is very  common  in adults  is now  increasingly   being  reported   in children. The  leading  risk factor  for kids  is being  overweight,   often  connected   with an unhealthy  diet  and lack of physical  activity.  According   to a study  done  by  Dr Anoop  Mishra  et alan   post  pubertal Indian  children,   67%  males  with  high  BMI  were  found  to have  insulin  resistance  while  overall prevalence   was  about   22%   in  males   and  36%   in females IS.    As per the Diabetes Atlas 2006 published by the International Diabetes Federation, the number of people with diabetes in India is around 40.9 million and is expected to rise to 69.9 million by 2025 unless urgent preventive steps are taken.

Read Also: How safe is our food?

Guidelines Drafted by FSSAI

  1. Restrict  / Limit  the Availability  of most common High Fat Sugar and Salt (HFSS) Foods in Schools and area within 50 meters.
  2. Develop  a  Canteen   Policy  to  provide   Nutritious,   Wholesome  and  Healthy   Food  in Schools.
  3. Regulate  Promotion  of ‘HFSS  Food’ among School Children.
  4. Food  Safety  and  Standards   Authority  of India  should  consider  reviewing  the Labeling Regulations  to enable disclosure  of all Relevant  Information.
  5. Establish  Stringent  Limits for Unhealthy  Ingredients.
  6. Encourage  Physical Activity by School Children.

Watch: How to protect food and make it last longer?

Tough to follow a diet plan?


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Mawa banned in Rajasthan before Diwali


The season of Indian festivities is approaching, with Diwali being the most awaited. Diwali is not just a festival of lights, but also a festival of exchanging gifts and sweets, kaju katli, soan papdi, barfi, gulaab jamun being the most enjoyed Indian sweets. But some notorious makers of these sweets, in order to make more profits, are responsible for the poor health effects on the consumers, by adding adulterants to these sweets.

Also Read: Adulterants in Sweets!

In order to make this Diwali safer, the Rajasthan Government has put a ban on Mawa, one of the most used ingredients in most of the Indian sweets. Rajasthan government has banned mawa and all its products to keep a check on possible adulteration during the coming festive season.

It was informed by chief food safety commissioner B R Meena to the Jaipur High Court, which was hearing a petition seeking court intervention on adulterated mawa in the state. In fact, the problem prevails across the country during festive seasons. According to the notice issued by Rajasthan government, the government had banned mawa on the directions issued by the High Court until further order. The state food safety commissioner told the High Court that the ban would be imposed seriously and subsequently the orders in this regard would be issued to all the relevant local authorities.

Watch: How to protect food and make it last longer?
Read Also: List of Products Banned under FSSAI

The single-judge bench of the High Court called the commissioner to take stock of the situation as to what action and precautions were being taken during Diwali. (source: FnB News)

Which food articles must not contain MSG, and Added Flavours?


What are Flavouring substances?

Flavouring agents are key food additives with hundreds of varieties like fruit, nut, seafood, spice blends, vegetables and wine which are natural flavouring agents. Besides natural flavours there are chemical flavours that imitate natural flavours. Some examples of chemical flavouring agents are alcohols that have a bitter and medicinal taste, esters are fruity, ketones and pyrazines provide flavours to caramel, phenolics have a smokey flavour and terpenoids have citrus or pine flavour.

Monosodium Glutamate is one of the substances which adds flavour to food, and that has been among the talks a lot in the food industry off late. (Here is why?).

Read Also: Why Lead is Dangerous?

What FSSAI says

Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 have described flavouring agents under the head ‘Flavouring Agents and Related Substances’ in the Regulations.

Flavouring agents include flavour substances, flavour extracts or flavour preparations, which are capable of imparting flavouring properties, namely taste or odour or both to food. Flavouring agents may be of following three types:

  • Natural Flavours and Natural Flavouring substances means flavour preparations and single substance respectively, acceptable for human consumption, obtained exclusively by physical processes from vegetables, for human consumption
  • Nature-Identical Flavouring Substances means substances chemically isolated from aromatic raw materials or obtained synthetically; they are chemically identical to substances present in natural products intended for human consumption, either processed or not.
  • Artificial Flavouring Substances means those substances which have not been identified in natural products intended for human consumption either processed or not.

Watch: How to make your food long last?

List of foods where Monosodium Glutamate is not allowed

  • Milk and Milk Products including Buttermilk, Fermented and renneted milk products (plain) excluding dairy based drink.
  • Pasteurised cream, Sterilised, UHT, whipping or whipped and reduced fat creams.
  • Fats and Oils, Pulses, Oil seeds and grounded/ powdered food grains, Food grains, Sago,
  • Butter and concentrated butter, Margarine, Fat Spread
  • Fresh fruit, Surface treated fruit, Peeled or cut fruit.
  • Fresh vegetables, Frozen vegetables.
  • Pastas and noodles (only dried products).
  • Fresh meat, poultry and game, whole pieces or cuts or comminuted. Fresh fish and fish products, including molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms. Processed fish and fish products, including molluscs, crustaceans and echinoderms.
  • Fresh eggs, Liquid egg products, Frozen egg products.
  • White and semi-white sugar (sucrose and saccharose, fructose, glucose (dextrose), xylose, sugar solutions and syrups, also (partially) inverted sugars, including molasses, treacle and sugar toppings. Other sugars and syrups (e.g. brown sugar and maple syrup),
  • Honey, Saccharine
  • Salt, Herbs, spices and condiments, seasoning (including salt substitutes) except seasoning for Noodles and Pastas, meat tenderizers, onion salt, garlic salt, oriental seasoning mix, topping to sprinkle on rice, fermented soya bean paste, Yeast.
  • Infant food and Infant milk substitute including infant formulae and follow-on formulate, Foods for young children (weaning foods).
  • Natural Minerals water and Packaged Drinking water, Carbonated Water
  • Concentrates (liquid and solid) for fruit juices.
  • Canned or bottled (pasteurised) fruit nectar.
  • Coffee and coffee substitutes, tea, herbal infusions, and other cereal beverages excluding cocoa.
  • Wines, Alcoholic Beverage
  • Fruits and Vegetables products except those where Monosodium Glutamate is permitted under these Regulations.
  • Baking Powder, Arrowroot
  • Plantation Sugar, Jaggery and Bura,
  • Ice-Candies, Ice cream and Frozen desserts.
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Malted Milk Food and Milk based foods
  • Bread
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar Confectionery, Toffee, Lozenges, Chocolate
  • Pan Masala

Restriction on use of flavouring agents the flavouring agents named below are not permitted for use in any article of food

  • Coumarin and dihydrocoumarin;
  • Tonkabean (Dipteryl adorat);
  • β-asarone and cinamyl anthracilate.
  • Estragole
  • Ethyl Methyl Ketone
  • Ethyl-3-Phenylglycidate
  • Eugenyl methyl ether
  • Methyl β napthyl Ketone
  • Propylanisole
  • Saffrole and Isosaffrole
  • Thujone and Isothujone α & β thujone

(source: Food Safety Helpline)