FSSAI publishes a comprehensive group standard for millet beginning in September
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India has directed a comprehensive group standard for millets in the Food Safety and Standards, Second Amendment Regulations, 2023, which will be implemented from September 1 onward.
As of now, there are individual standards for only a few millets like sorghum (jowar), whole and decorticated pearl millet grain (Bajra), finger millet (ragi), and amaranth,
which are prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.
FSSAI has now outlined a comprehensive group standard for 15 types of millets, specifying 8 quality parameters like maximum limits for moisture content, uric acid content, extraneous matter, other edible grains, defects, weevil grains, and immature and shrivelled grains, as to ensure the availability of good-quality (standardized) millets in domestic and global markets. In order to enhance awareness and promote the production and consumption of millets, in April 2018 millets were rebranded as ‘Nutri Cereals, and the year 2018 was designated as the “National Year of Millets”. Well ahead, the United Nations General Assembly at its 75th session in March 2021 declared 2023 as the International Year of Millets (IYOM 2023).
This will offer a prospect for a surge in global production, efficient processing, better use of crop rotation, and the promotion of millets as a major component of the food basket. Most millet crops are native to India, and they provide most of the nutrients required for the normal functioning of the human body. Millets are also gluten-free, low in Glycemic Index (GI), and rich in dietary fiber and micronutrients, including calcium, iron, phosphorus, etc.