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Codex committee finalises quality standards for 5 spices

The 7th session of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) held at Kochi has finalised the quality standards for 5 spices, namely small cardamom, turmeric, juniper berry, allpice and star anise, the Commerce Ministry said on Saturday.

New Delhi, Feb 3,2024:  The 7th session of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) held at Kochi has finalised the quality standards for 5 spices, namely small cardamom, turmeric, juniper berry, allpice and star anise, the Commerce Ministry said on Saturday.

CCSCH has forwarded these five standards to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) recommending them for adoption at final Step 8 as full-fledged Codex standards.

CCSCH7 held from 29th January 2024 to 2nd February 2024, was attended by 109 delegates from 31 countries and was the first session of this committee to be conducted physically after the Covi-19 pandemic.

For the first time ever in this committee, the strategy of grouping of spices was successfully implemented. The committee finalised the first group standard for ‘spices derived from fruits and berries’ (covering 3 spices, viz, juniper berry, allspice and star anise) in the session, according to the official statement.

The draft standard for vanilla progressed to step 5 and would be subjected to one more round of scrutiny by member countries before being taken up for discussion in the next session of the committee.

Proposals for development of Codex standards for Dried Coriander Seeds, Large Cardamom, Sweet Marjoram and Cinnamon were put before the committee and were accepted. The committee will work on draft standards for these four spices in its forthcoming editions, the statement said.

The 7th session of CCSCH witnessed participation of a large number of Latin American countries for the first time.

The next meeting of the Committee will be conducted after a period of 18 months.

During the interim, electronic working groups (EWGs) chaired by various countries will continue the process of multinational consultation, aimed at developing the standards, relying on science based evidence.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC), jointly established by FAO and WHO, is an international, intergovernmental body with membership of over 194 countries, which is based in Rome and is tasked with formulating internationally accepted standards pertaining to human food.

The CAC conducts its work through various Codex committees, including the CCSCH, hosted by different member countries.

The Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) was established as one of the Commodity Committees under the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in 2013. India hosts this prestigious Committee since the beginning and Spices Board India serves as the Secretariat organization which organizes the Committee’s sessions.

The standards of CAC are recognised by the WTO as international reference points for the resolution of trade disputes concerning food safety and consumer protection. The work of CAC contributes to harmonisation of food standards across the globe, facilitate fair global trade in food, and enhance food safety to safeguard the health of global consumers.

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