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Physiochemical Parameters

Dietary Fibre

Dietary fibre can generally be described as that portion of food that is not digested in the human small intestine. It passes into the large intestine where it is partially or fully fermented.

A high-fibre diet offers many health benefits, which include: Normalising bowel movements Maintaining bowel health Lowering of cholesterol levels Helping control blood sugar levels Aiding in achieving healthy weight

Protein

Protein is an essential nutrient. It plays an vimportant role in the cellular maintenance, growth, and functioning of the human body. It should be higher in biscuits.

  • The lowest amount of protein was found in Parle (7.17 per cent) and the highest in Anmol (8.83 per cent).
  • Difference between measured and declared values was highest in Divss (21.61 per cent), followed by Parle (11.48 per cent).

Fat

  • The fat measured was lower than the declared values in nine brands, Cremica being the exception.
  • Divss was found to have the lowest fat.
  • Total Sugar

    Sugar is added to biscuits to enhance their taste. Most of the biscuits are semi sweet and they contain moderate amounts of sugar. The Indian Standard does not have any requirement for sugar in biscuits since these are produced in a wide variety.

    • The lowest sugar was found in Anmol (12.04 gm/100 gm) and Priyagold (13.27 gm/100 gm); the highest was in Bonn (19.85 gm/100 gm).
    • The sugar content in Patanjali was found to be more than the declared value.

    Carbohydrate

    Carbohydrate is a source of energy. However, considering the wide variety of biscuits produced, Indian Standard has not defined any requirement for carbohydrate.

    • Carbohydrate was found in the range of 79.84 gm/100 gm to 85.44 gm/100 gm. All the results were above the declared values.
    • Cremica scored highest in this parameter, followed by Anmol and Priyagold.
      • Acid-insoluble ash

        Acid-insoluble ash indicates the presence of sand, dirt, and dust. Acid-insoluble ash content in biscuits shall not be more than 0.05 per cent as per Indian Standard and not more than 0.1 per cent as per Food Safety & Standards Rules.

        • All tested brands were within the permissible limit.
        • Britannia and Priyagold scored highest in this parameter.

        Acidity of extracted fat

        The acidity of extracted fat indicates whether the quality of fat used is good and shall not be more than 1.2 per cent as per Indian Standard and 1.5 per cent as per FSSAI.

        High acidity of extracted fat indicates rancidity, which is not desirable. As per FSS Regulations, acidity of extracted fat shall not be more than 1.5 per cent.

      • The acidity of extracted fat (as oleic acid) was found within the prescribed limit in all the brands. It was found minimum in Unibic and maximum in Nutri Choice.
      • Moisture

        As per the Indian Standard, moisture in biscuit shall not be more than 5.0 per cent.

        • All the brands were within the permissible limit, with the moisture percentage ranging between 1.49 per cent and 2.73 per cent.
        • McVitie's had the least moisture (1.49 per cent) and Anmol had the most moisture (2.73 per cent).

        Total Ash

        Ash is the portion of food that remains after being burned at very high temperatures. It also indicates the dirt and dust remaining in the product.

      • Total ash was found within the prescribed limit in all the brands. The least amount of total ash was found in Parle (1.31 per cent). This is good for consumers.
      • The maximum total ash was in Patanjali (2.96 per cent).

Microbiological Activity

Microbiological contamination is a critical factor in determining the quality of food products. Microorganisms are responsible for many foodborne diseases. Due to improper or poor manufacturing practices, microorganisms occur in the finished product.

  • Tests were conducted for total plate count (TPC) and E. coli. The latter has to be absent in the food product.
  • The TPC values were not significant, which meant that all the brands were safe for consumption.
  • All the brands were found free from E. coli and hence considered to be safe for consumption.


Sensory Attributes

Colour and appearance, flavour/odour, consistency,

Sensory tests were conducted in the laboratory involving trained panel members under the supervision of experts. The panellists judged the samples on these parameters: colour and appearance, flavour/odour, consistency, taste, and aftertaste feeling. The average score for each parameter was taken into consideration to arrive at the final score for each brand. McVitie's topped in the overall sensory scores, followed by Britannia, Parle, and Bonn.


General Qualities

Marking and Labeling

  • The following information shall be clearly and indelibly marked on the label of each packet:
  • Name of the product
  • Trade name, if any
  • Name and address of manufacturer
  • Batch or code number
  • Net quantity in grams or kilograms
  • List of ingredients, in descending order of their composition by quantity
  • Statement with respect to addition of permitted colour and flavours
  • Month and year of manufacture
  • The words ‘Best before’ (month and year to be indicated)
  • Nutritional information
  • Logo indicating ‘vegetarian’ or ‘non-vegetarian’ status
  • The product may also carry the BIS mark.
  • All the tested brands provided the required information on their labels

Packing

Packing in such a way as to protect them from breakage, contamination, absorption of moisture, and seepage of fat from the biscuits into the packing materials. The packing should not transmit any objectionable odour and taste to the biscuits. The biscuits shall not come in direct contact with the packing materials other than grease-proof or sulphite paper, cellulose film, aluminium coating/laminates, food-grade plastics, or any other non-toxic packing material that may be covered with a moisture-proof film, waxed paper, or moisture-proof laminates; the inner layer coming in contact with the biscuits shall be of food-grade quality or coated paper. Biscuits in tins should not come in direct contact with unlacquered metal walls.

  • All the brands were packed in thermoplastic material and were fully moisture-proof. Priyagold had double packaging.
  • Parle, Nutri Choice, Patanjali, and Unibic were in thermoplastic material. Anmol and McVitie’s had outer packing of cardboard paper and thermoplastic packing inside.
  • Net Quantity

    As per Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, tolerance allowed is 4.5 per cent for pack size of 100 gm to 200 gm.

    • The net weight in Priyagold and Patanjali was found to be less than the declared value. The other brands met the requirements of Legal Metrology Rules – their measured values were either above the declared weight or within the tolerance limit. Biscuits shall be packed in clean, sound containers made of tin plate, cardboard, paper, or other material