FSSAI has Created a Novel Technique for Identifying the Presence of Ethylene Oxide in Spices

In response to the sales ban imposed by Hong Kong and Singapore on specific Indian spice products, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has developed an innovative approach to detect Ethylene Oxide in spices.

Ethylene Oxide, a chemical frequently utilized as a disinfectant in spices, has raised concerns among global regulators due to its carcinogenic properties. This has led to increased inspection by international authorities.

The recently developed detection method provides improved precision and has been validated by the ICAR-National Research Centre for Grapes, the leading national laboratory for food safety regulation.

This technique will play an important role in identifying Ethylene Oxide in spices that are imported or exported, as well as those produced domestically. Additionally, it can detect the presence of Ethylene Oxide even in packaged goods.

Hong Kong and Singapore recently imposed bans on Indian spice products due to worries about contamination with Ethylene Oxide. Although Ethylene Oxide is allowed for sterilizing spices, both countries highlighted the importance of reducing exposure to this substance because of its potential health hazards.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer categorizes Ethylene Oxide as a Group 1 carcinogen, indicating its ability to induce cancer in humans.

Ethylene Oxide in Spices, FSSAI

Due to the bans, the FSSAI has started thorough sampling and testing procedures. Furthermore, the Spices Board has released detailed guidelines for exporters to avoid Ethylene Oxide contamination in spice products exported from India.

These guidelines stress the importance of not using Ethylene Oxide as a sterilizing agent and require strict controls throughout the supply chain to prevent accidental contamination.

In response to the bans, India has highlighted its strict regulations to reduce pesticide residues in food products. The Health Ministry has denied the claim of allowing pesticide residue standards, stating that India confirms some of the world’s toughest Maximum Residue Limits.

In response to the claims, leading Indian spice producers such as MDH and Everest have opposed claims of using Ethylene Oxide in their products. MDH has emphasized its dedication to quality and safety, stating that Ethylene Oxide is not utilized in any part of its processing or packaging.

Everest has also clarified that only one of their products in Singapore is being investigated and denied any bans on their products in the area. As inquiries progress, stakeholders stay observant to verify the safety and reputation of India’s spice exports.


🎖️ Food Technology Training Course
Implementation of HACCP in the Food Industry.

Date : 18 May 2023

Time : 10 AM to 05 PM

Faculty : Asmita Thaokar (FSSAI National Level Resource Person)

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