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Spice Quality Testing to help Indian Companies boost International Exports

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Spice Quality Testing - An important parameter for export

Indian foods are synonymous with great taste, amazing aroma, bright colors, and lip-smacking flavor. And the secret to this taste can majorly be attributed to the use of spices. These spices have been in use for thousands of years, making India a hotspot for some of the finest spices available in the world in the present day and age. Moreover, spices in India are not only used in food, they are used to cure different ailments too. With the subcontinent having varied weather conditions that include humidity, rainfall, hot and dry weather, the conditions are appropriate for the growth of spices. This includes the likes of turmeric, black pepper, coriander, cinnamon, chili and a range of blended spices that include curry powder, fenugreek powder, garam masalas among other things. India also makes use of different spices in medicines, like ginger, fenugreek, turmeric, while using fennel, cardamom, cloves as mouth freshening agents. However, the Spice industry in India is confronted by a host of food safety and quality challenges in today’s global marketplace, which makes Spice Testing more important than ever.

Export market scenario

While the uses of spices in the Indian market are colossal, India also stands as one of the largest exporters of spices in the world. Amongst the spices that are exported, according to the share of major spices in India’s exports by value in 2017-18, chili takes up a major share of the pie, with 24%. Mint products, spice oils & oleoresins, and cumin take up 18%, 15%, and 13% respectively. Turmeric is another major spice that is exported with 6% of the share. Other spices that include the likes of fenugreek, cardamom, pepper among others together take up 24% of the share as well (Source - Tea Coffee Spice of India). Different processed spices in the form of spice oils, mint products, oleoresins, powders, blends, and seasonings are also exported.

India exports over a million tons of spices to different countries, with the US being the major export destination. This is followed by exports to different Asian countries like China, Vietnam, the UAE, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and other European nations like the UK and Germany. Singapore and Sri Lanka follow the suite to be among the countries that receive spices from India.

Owing to the aforementioned reasons, India is one of the largest producers and exporters of spices in the world, and with it comes the irrepressible responsibility to maintain the right quality standards that comply with international requirements. TÜV SÜD helps companies find solutions by assuring high quality Spice testing and certification services.

Need for Spices Testing

It is imperative to understand the stringent food and health laws that exist in developed countries before one attempts to export their spices. Thanks to ever-changing technology, and new scientific findings, these countries may revise the laws or change the permissible amounts of additives, pesticides, and coloring agents. While the laws are introduced for the welfare of the people, exporters need to be on their toes to be aware of the technological advancements and challenges that come up in the export trade.

Moreover, there is a growing consciousness all over the planet about impurities, poisonous substances and different disease-causing organisms in different day to day elements. Apart from becoming more aware, consumers are also expecting the best of quality in every product they use, especially among the ones they consume. Owing to these changes, exporting countries are expected to maintain quality standards and adhere to the spices testing assessment standards that are set by these countries. These spice testing standards ensure that the spices are free from mycotoxins, mold, insect infestation, bacterial contamination among other things. Since these standards ensure no foodborne diseases or food poisoning instances, exporters around the world willingly adhere to these standards of spices testing.

Spices and its color

Generally, as spices mature, the pigments in it tend to increase, making color monitoring pivotal to monitor when a spice is ripe and ready to be processed. Spices are of different colors when they are in their solid-state, and this color could change or vary after various degrees of grinding or crushing for different powders or pastes. To define the appropriate color standards, color measurement instrumentation techniques are employed that take into account different variations in color and texture based on the processes to quantify the quality. Spice color control monitoring with spectrophotometers play an important role in meeting standards for product purity and safety. These spice testing and monitoring techniques during different stages are to be considered by every spice manufacturer and supplier.

Contaminants in spices

Spices, unlike other food times, face the risk of contamination across different stages of production. Owing to the different processes involved, spices can be contaminated by different pesticide residues, agro-inputs, or heavy metals. Additionally, improper packing practices can lead to microbial contamination. Avoiding these contaminants are pivotal for spices to have the right quality and taste, both for the end user’s satisfaction and their well-being. This can be checked only through spices testing.

How can TÜV SÜD help?

Spice Safety and quality tests are extremely crucial especially when one looks at spices being one of the major commodities that are exported. With stringent import regulations imposed by different countries, the onus is on spice manufacturers to ensure that their end-products withstands different tests that are imperative to decide the quality of the product.

TÜV SÜD’s expertise stems from its singular focus on spice quality standards. By following food safety standards as per the requirements of the most significant quality assessment bodies, TÜV SÜD assesses spices through a range of different tests. Having VIDAS to perform the rapid analysis of salmonella that churns out its results within 24 hours makes TÜV SÜD stand tall among the other slew of quality assessment services it provides. Being one of the leaders in offering spices testing also makes TÜV SÜD capable of screening over 850+ pesticide residues that are in accordance with different export regulations set by different countries. They also can screen for different non-permitted dues including Rhodamine compounds, Sudan, and Aflatoxins.

By putting paramount importance on quality, TÜV SÜD performs spices testing and checks for any adulterations or contaminants that could’ve been added anywhere from the farm to the final packaging. This holistic process of checking makes it the perfect stop before spices are sent out for exports. Our Spice testing services cover key analysis required by international export markets. With a worldwide network of accredited Spice testing and consulting laboratories, we ensure that we take care of all your spice testing worries. We can help you implement comprehensive spice quality assurance strategies, and achieve compliance with local, national and international regulations. Need help or have a question with respect to the same? Enquire now.

TÜV SÜD South Asia provides food quality assurance and quality control services for the food processing industry. We help food brands and retailers comply with international food safety requirements of the destination market and secure their supply chains. We provide lab testing, food audits, and food inspection services in different categories such as Food Packaging, Contamination Testing, Food Contact Materials, Food Label review, Food Safety Certification, Shelf Life Testing, Hygiene Audits, etc. Get in touch with us to ensure the quality and safety of your food products.

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