FSSAI gazette notifies limit of naturally occurring formaldehyde in fish

The Indian food authority, FSSAI, has notified the limit of naturally occurring formaldehyde in freshwater and marine fish in the gazette through Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) First Amendment Regulations, 2023. According to the regulations, the fishes were divided into four groups and the limit of formaldehyde was set.

In Group 1 (Marine), it includes all finfishes (including Barracuda, Billfishes, Bombay Duck, Bullseyes, Catfishes, Croakers, Eels, Filefishes and Puffers, Flat fishes, Goatfishes,

Groupers (Rock Cods), Half Beaks and Full Beaks, Horse Mackerel, Leather Jacket (Queen Fish), Mackerel, Mullets, Other Carangids, Other Clupeoids, Anchovies, Other Perches, Pigface Breams, Pomfrets, Ribbon Fish, Sardines, Seer Fishes/Spanish Mackerel, Silver Bellies/Biddies, Snappers, Tarpons, Threadfin Breams, Threadfins, Tuna and Bonitos, White Fish and any other commercial varieties), elasmobranchs, crustaceans and molluscs except those under Group III & IV. The limit of Formaldehyde is set at 4.0mg/kg max.

The Group – II is for ‘freshwater origin’ finfishes (including Indian Major Carps, Minor Carps, Exotic Carps, Freshwater Catfishes, Snakeheads/Murrels, Tilapia, Trout and all other freshwater fin fishes), crustaceans and molluscans and the limit of formaldehyde for this group is also set at 4.0mg/kg max. Group – III (Marine) includes lizard fishes and any other marine fishes not covered under Group I and the limit of formaldehyde is set at 8.0mg/kg max, while Group – IV consists of frozen stored marine fish products and the limit is set at 100mg/kg max. FSSAI has framed these regulations specifying the limit of naturally occurring formaldehyde in freshwater as well as marine fish and operationalised on Feb 10, 2020, and subsequently re-operationalised in August 2020, and November 2020, September 2021 and May 2022 and September 2022 through official notification.