Total Soluble Solids (TSS)
Total soluble solids are solids that are dissolved within a substance. A common total soluble solid is sugar. The total mass of a jam is made up of ingredients like sugar, fruit pulp, pectin, preservatives, salt, food colour and other soluble solids present naturally or added in combining form. All of these make the ‘total soluble contents’ of a jam. High total soluble contents do not necessarily denote high fruit pulp since sugar, pectin and other preservatives also increase the amount of total soluble contents. As per Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Regulations, total soluble solids should not be less than 65.0 per cent in jam. Pineapple jam shall be manufactured from not less than 45 per cent, by weight, of prepared pineapple, exclusive of any added sugar. As laboratories cannot detect accurate percentage of fruit in jam, we opted for testing of total soluble solids in jam.
Benzoic acid is a common preservative and used in processed foods. The presence of preservative generally increases the shelf life of the product and prevents the deterioration of nutritional values, taste and odour as well as microbial contamination. However, an excess amount of preservative is not desirable. FSS Regulations allow for a maximum of 200 parts per million (ppm) of benzoic acid content in jams.
*Detection limit of lab was 7.91 ppm
Yeast and Spores
Yeast is a type of fungi. Yeast is commonly found on plants, grains, fruits and foods containing sugar. equipment, or food and air currents. Yeast cause food to spoil but do not cause food-borne illness. As per FSS Regulations, yeast and spores count in jam should not be more than 125 per 1/60 c.m.m.
Moulds are microscopic fungi that can live on plants and animals. Most moulds spoil foods; some form toxins that can cause illness. Moulds can grow in a wide range of foods. Freezing does not destroy moulds. Moulds also need air to grow. As per FSS Regulations, mould count in jam should be positive in not more than 40 per cent of the field examined.
The following information shall be clearly and indelibly marked on the label of each container/ packet as per Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations and Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules: a) Name of the product b) Trade name, if any c) Name and address of manufacturer/importer d) Batch or code number e) Net quantity in grams f) List of ingredients in descending order g) Month and year of manufacture h) ‘Best before’ (month and year to be indicated) i) Nutritional information j) FSSAI license number k) Logo indicating ‘vegetarian’ (green dot) or ‘non-vegetarian’ (red dot) status l) Storage information m) Maximum Retail Price (MRP) n) Customer-care details All brands provided the required information on their labels.
As per Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, every package shall bear the name, address, telephone number, and email address, if available, of the person who can be – or the office that can be – contacted in case of consumer complaints.