Spices exported from India are of finest quality, says IPSTA

Published - May 14, 2024 01:34 am IST - KOCHI

India Pepper and Spice Trade Association (IPSTA) has said that the Spices Board, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, and other agencies should work together to remove misconceptions about the use of ethylene oxide. The association said ethylene oxide was not a pesticide but a sterilising agent used to contain microbial elements in spices and food products. IPSTA reiterated that spices exported to other countries was of the finest quality.

The IPSTA statement came in the wake of reports that some spice products from the country had been banned due to the presence of ethylene oxide in various products. Spice traders said exporters and the industry faced a huge challenge in the form of cancellation of orders if they were not allowed to sterilise the products as required by importing countries like the US and Canada.

The association said ethylene oxide was a colourless gas with a sweet odour, used as a sterilising agent, and that its use was permitted by many countries with varied residue levels, which exporters had adhered to. Ethylene oxide is safe to use in spices and food products and is also known to preserve colour, aroma, taste, and natural oil content in spices better than other agents of sterilisation.

IPSTA has been holding roadshows in Kalpetta in Wayanad and Mudigere in Karnataka to popularise pepper e-auction. The roadshows included live demonstration of the e-auction platform with question and answer sessions attended by the IPSTA president and vice president.

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