Soon, proof in hand for genuine palm jaggery

In a bid to crack down upon the practice of passing off sugar jaggery as palm sugar jaggery, celebrated for its health quotient, officials from the Food Safety and Standards Department will soon be ensuring manufacturers introduce palm jaggery in an easy-to-identify package, and a different labelling system.
Soon, proof in hand for genuine palm jaggery
Image of jaggery prepared from sugarcane syrup


The initiative is a result of complaints received by Food Safety and Standards Department that sugar jaggery was being mixed with palm jaggery and sold at lower prices. Many genuine palm jaggery manufacturers complained of loss of revenue. There were also concerns that as palm jaggery is sent to Chennai and other parts of Tamil Nadu from Udankudi in Thoothukudi district, these adulterated palm jiggery were being supplied to customers in many urban areas like Chennai. 
Speaking to DTNext, Thanga Vignesh, Designated Officer, Food Safety and Standards Department, Thoothukudi, claimed that after they received the complaints about adulteration in palm jaggery they carried out surprise raids in manufacturing units and shops in Udangudi and took a samples for testing. However, when the samples were tested at Palayamkottai Government laboratory, they were found to be genuine. Despite the positive results, officials have sent the samples to King Institute in Guindy and are awaiting the results. 
Apart from the surprise inspections, officials said they also held awareness meetings for the manufacturers and traders for the first time in Udankudi. As palm manufacturers do not have an association of their own, no such meeting was conducted in the past, claimed officials.  A senior official said he also advised the stake holders to get proper license for manufacturing palm jaggery. He also warned traders of severe action against violators.  Accepting the official advise, manufacturers and traders will be introducing the two products in different packaging, shortly. 
Officials also said that 15 days of the awareness drive, over 10 manufacturers have applied for license. This is the first time that manufacturers are coming forward to get license under Food Safety and Standards Act claimed Thanga Vignesh.

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