Hot Right Now: Adulterated oil in India, halal blockchain, Coca-Cola's new kombucha brand and more trending on social media

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The Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Adminstration Department has warned the Indian public about the continued dangers of adulterated edible oil. ©Getty Images
The Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Adminstration Department has warned the Indian public about the continued dangers of adulterated edible oil. ©Getty Images

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Adulterated oil in India, halal blockchain, Coca-Cola's new kombucha brand and trending stories on social media feature in this edition of Hot Right Now.

Cheap, dangerous oil: Indian FDA warning over adulterated products amid FSSAI rule change

The Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Adminstration Department has warned the Indian public about the continued dangers of adulterated edible oil​ despite a recent labelling change made by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The state government food safety agency conducted a raid on a local oil mill earlier this year, and issued the warning after it discovered that higher-priced oils from sesame and groundnut were being adulterated with palm oil.

“[We found that] palm oil was being mixed with sesame oil and groundnut oil, [and unaware consumers were purchasing these] because of the cheap price,”​ said Tamil Nadu Food Safety and Drug Adminstration Department Designated Officer Dr R. Chithra

More control: FSSAI wants to expand jurisdiction over India’s food imports and exports

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) is looking to amend the Food Safety and Standards (FSS) Act to expand its jurisdiction over the country’s food product exports​, in addition to relaxing licenses and gaining control over animal feed.

Thus far, food product exports in India have not been listed under the purview of any domestic agency or the FSS Act.

According to statistics from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the value of US$18.6bn (INR11.9mn) in the FY2017-2018 timeframe from US$16.2bn (INR10.8mn) in FY2016-2017.

As of June 24, this has already hit US$18.7bn (INR13mn) for the FY2018-2019 timeframe.

New halal blockchain traceability tool touted as a supply chain ‘gamechanger’

An online halal agrifood marketplace with a focus on blockchain food traceability​, is poised to bring added traceability benefits to the halal economy.

OneAgrix's B2B platform will not only be able to track and trace halal produce and ingrediens, it will verify the authenticity of a manufacturer's halal certificate before a potential buyer can make a purchase. The data will be vetted and secured through a blockchain ledger to help combat halal food fraud and counterfeiting.

The mojo behind MOJO: Coca-Cola’s recently acquired kombucha brand shares secrets of success

Australian firm MOJO Kombucha’s pledge to authenticity and no artificial sweeteners​ are what have helped it grow from a small family business to becoming a major name in the country, and recently being acquired by beverage giant Coca-Cola, according to a top company official.

Speaking at the recent Naturally Good Business Summit 2019 in Sydney, Andrew Buttery, Director of Sales and Marketing at Organic and Raw Trading Co. which owns the MOJO brand, said that the company was a pioneer in the country’s kombucha category, and had evolved from ‘very humble beginnings’​.

Non-halal candy: Malaysia may follow Brunei in removing White Rabbit from halal shelves

Popular China-made candy White Rabbit has recently been under fire in Brunei after a study conducted by the country’s Islamic authority revealed it to contain pig protein​, and Malaysia now looks likely to follow in its South East Asian neighbour’s footsteps.

In an official statement, the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Brunei (MoRA) announced earlier this month that the Halal Food Control Division had sent samples of the White Rabbit candy to be analysed by the Health Ministry’s Scientific Services Department, which tested positive for pig protein.

“As such, MoRA is calling upon importers and retailers to separate this product from general shelves and put it in the ‘Non-Halal’ section, and for Islamic consumers to stay away from and not eat this product,”​ said the ministry.

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