Drained weight of pickle refers to the weight of fruit and vegetables that have been allowed to drain to remove the liquid (mainly oil) in which it has been prepared. As per FSS Regulations, drained weight should not be less than 60 per cent. So higher is better.
- Drained weight in all brands was above the prescribed limit.
- Highest drained weight was found in Nilon’s (97.2 per cent) – this, as already stated, is beneficial for consumers. Shan had the lowest drained weight at 83 per cent.
Moulds are microscopic fungi that live on plant or animal matter and are an indicator of whether food is microbiologically fit for human consumption or not. Moulds can cause allergic reactions and respiratory problems. As per FSS Regulations, mould count should be absent in 25 grams of pickle.
- No mould count was detected in the pickle brands. This means they are all safe for human consumption.
- Lead content: As per IS 3501:1966, lead content should not be more than 2.5 mg/kg. Lead was found below the prescribed limit in all the eight brands.
- Copper content: As per IS 3501:1966, copper content should not be more than 30 mg/kg. Copper was found below the prescribed limit in all the brands.
- Arsenic content: As per IS 3501:1966, arsenic content should not be more than 1.1 mg/kg. Arsenic was found below the prescribed limit in the eight brands.
For General Qualities
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.
Glass does not react with food material and is therefore recommended for packaging of pickles.
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:
- Name of the product
- Trade name, if any
- Name and address of manufacturer/importer
- Batch or code number
- Net quantity in gram or Kg
- Month and year of manufacture
- The words ‘Best before’ (month and year to be indicated)
- Nutritional information FSSAI license number
- Logo indicating ‘vegetarian’ or ‘non-vegetarian’ status
- Storage information
- Maximum Retail Price (MRP)
- Customer-care details The importance of marking cannot be overemphasised, as it gives information about the characteristics of the product and/or claims of the manufacturer, all of which help consumers in choosing the product.
- All brands had labelling as required, with the exception of Tapash, which did not provide any telephone number in customer-care details.
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.