New Delhi: The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is set to launch a nationwide surveillance across the country to check the quality of Khoa or mawa-- a milk-made object widely used in making most Indian sweets.
The move is being taken following reports of adulterated Khoa being manufactured and marketed across the country.
Due to the versatile nature of Khoa, it is the main ingredient in an array of Indian sweets such as barfis, pedas, milk cake, kalakand and halwas.
The Federation of Sweets and Namkeen manufacturers recently met the FSSAI CEO and inter alia raised the issue of adulterated Khoa being supplied to them.
As a result, a pilot survey was conducted by Department of Food Safety, Delhi under the guidance of FSSAI by placing Food Safety on Wheels (FSWs) at Mori Gate Khoa Mandi in Delhi between August 31 to September 4 this year.
During this survey, Khoa samples were tested by the FSW staff for 3 parameters-- acidity, maximum added starch and added sugar in Khoa.
A part of the Khoa samples were also sent to the State Food Testing Laboratory for testing of other five parameters to check use of urea, detergent, neutralizer and B.R. reading.
"Considering that there was some failure in the samples collected at Delhi during the pilot survey, it has been decided to conduct a PAN -India Khoa quality survey," FSSAI said in a statement.
The Commissioner Food Safety of all states and UTs have been requested to select Khoa mandis in their respective states and Union Territories (UTs) especially in big cities.
For five days from October 12th to October 16 this year, Khoa mandis encouraged Khoa buyers to get their Khoa sample tested.
"The test results are expected in a month's time. The final survey results will help in identification of the key hot spots for adulteration of Khoa in different parts of the country and strengthen efforts at the states and UT level in devising targeted enforcement drives in the coming months."
The entire exercise is aimed at ensuring availability of pure and safe Khoa for safe Indian sweets in the country.