The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has specified a comprehensive group standard for millets vide Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Second Amendment Regulations, 2023 notified in the Gazette of India and the same will be enforced w.e.f. 1st September 2023.
Millets are group of small-grained cereal food crops that are highly tolerant to drought and other extreme weather conditions and requires low chemical inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. Most of millet crops are native of India and they provide most of the nutrients required for normal functioning of human body. Millets are also gluten-free; low in Glycemic Index (GI); and rich in dietary fibre and micronutrients, including calcium, iron, phosphorus etc. Millets should ideally be an integral part of our daily diet.
FSSAI Guidance Note (“Millets – the nutri-cereals”) provides more information about nutritional composition and benefits of consumption of Millets.
In order to enhance awareness and promote production & consumption of millets, in April 2018, millets were rebranded as “Nutri Cereals” and “2018” was designated as the National Year of Millets. Later, the United Nations General Assembly at its 75th session in March 2021 declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYOM 2023). This will provide an opportunity to increase global production, efficient processing and better use of crop rotation and promote millets as a major component of the food basket.
Currently, individual standards for only a few millets like Sorghum (Jowar), Whole and decorticated Pearl Millet grain (Bajra), Finger Millet (Ragi) and Amaranth are prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011. FSSAI has now framed a comprehensive group standard for 15 types of millets specifying 8 quality parameters i.e., maximum limits for moisture content, uric acid content, extraneous matter, other edible grains, defects, weevilled grains, and immature and shrivelled grains, so as to ensure availability of good quality (standardized) millets in domestic and global markets.
The group standard is applicable to the following millets.:
1. Amaranthus (Chaulai or Rajgira)
2. Barnyard Millet ((Samakechawal or Sanwa or Jhangora)
3. Brown top (Korale)
4. Buckwheat (Kuttu)
5. Crab finger (Sikiya)
6. Finger Millet (Ragi or Mandua)
7. Fonio (Acha)
8. Foxtail Millet (Kangni or Kakun)
9. Job’s tears (Adlay)
10. Kodo Millet (Kodo)
11. Little Millet (Kutki)
12. Pearl Millet (Bajra)
13. Proso Millet (Cheena)
14. Sorghum (Jowar)
15. Teff (Lovegrass)
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