Food safety regulator FSSAI on Thursday said it is conducting a countrywide quality survey of dairy product Khoya or mawa, widely used for preparing sweets, after it found adulteration in some samples tested in the national capital. “The test results are expected in a month’s time," Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said in a statement.
The move also comes against the backdrop of the festive season, including Diwali next month, when there is generally increased sale of sweets. The final survey results will help in identifying key hot spots for adulteration of Khoya in different parts of the country and strengthen efforts at the state-level in devising targeted enforcement drives in the coming months, the regulator said.
“The whole exercise is aimed at ensuring availability of pure and safe Khoya for safe Indian sweets in the country," it added. Due to the versatile nature of Khoya, it is the main ingredient in an array of Indian sweets such as barfis, pedas, milk cake, kalakand and halwas.
According to the watchdog, the Commissioner Food Safety of all states were asked to select Khoya mandis in big cities. They were also asked to place mobile labs called Food Safety on Wheels (FSWs) from October 12-16 and encourage buyers to get their Khoya samples tested. The countrywide quality survey was launched after a pilot study in Delhi following concerns raised by the Federation of Sweets and Namkeen manufacturers on the issue of adulterated Khoya, it said.
Delhi government had placed mobile labs at Mori Gate Khoya Mandi between August 31 and September 4. The samples were tested for three parameters — titratable acidity, maximum added starch and added sugar. A part of the Khoya samples were also sent to the State Food Testing Laboratory for testing of other five parameters — urea, detergent, neutralizer, baudouin and BR reading.
“Considering that there was some failure in the samples collected at Delhi during the pilot survey, it was decided to conduct a PAN-India Khoya quality survey," the regulator said.