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New draft norms define honey as Blossom and Honeydew, prescribe labelling
Wednesday, 11 November, 2020, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Ashwani Maindola, New Delhi
FSSAI, the apex food regulator, has issued a draft on regulations for revised standards for honey and sought comments from stakeholders by last week of December on the same. The revised standards make provisions for new labelling regulations for honey along with a new definition.

The revised definition says that honey is natural sweet substance produced by honey bees from the nectar of plants or from secretions of living parts of plants or excretions of plant sucking insects on the living parts of plants, which the bees collect, transform by combining with specific substances of their own, deposit, dehydrate, store and leave in the honeycomb to ripen and mature.

Called the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations, 2020, the draft defines two types of honey, Blossom Honey or Nectar Honey, which comes from nectars of plants and Honeydew Honey which comes mainly from excretions of plant sucking insects (Hemiptera) on the living parts of plants or secretions of living parts of plants.

The revised draft also prescribes new labelling norms for honey. According to the draft, in addition to the labelling provisions as given in the Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations, 2011, specific provisions shall be applicable for labelling of honey.

Honey shall be labelled as Honeydew Honey - If the product complies with the definitions given in (revised) regulations of this standard; Blend of Honeydew Honey and Blossom Honey – If the product is mixture of Blossom or Nectar Honey and Honeydew Honey and Carvia Callosa Honey - If the honey is derived from flower of Carviacallosa plant which is described as thixotrophic and is gel like extremely viscous when standing still and turns into liquid when agitated or stirred.

Secondly, if the honey is obtained by pressing broodless combs, honey shall be labelled as “Pressed Honey”. If honey belongs to any of the categories mentioned above and also falling into the category of Pressed Honey, it shall be labelled as “Pressed Honeydew Honey” or “Pressed and Blend of Honeydew Honey and Blossom Honey” or “Pressed Carvia Callosa Honey”.

Also, the draft prescribes that honey may also be labelled according to the floral or plant source, as Monofloral Honey - If the minimum pollen content of the plant species concerned is not less than 45 per cent of total pollen content and Multi Floral Honey – If the pollen content of any of the plant species does not exceed 45 per cent of the total pollen content.
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