The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has specified a comprehensive group standard for millets. It has notified Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Second Amendment Regulations, 2023. The standards will be enforced on September 1, an official statement added.

So far, individual standards for only a few millets like jowar, ragi, bajra and Amaranth are prescribed in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011.

“FSSAI has now framed a comprehensive group standard for 15 types of millets specifying 8 quality parameters i.e., maximum limits for moisture content, uric acid content, extraneous matter, other edible grains, defects, weevilled grains, and immature and shriveled grains, so as to ensure availability of good quality (standardized) millets in domestic and global markets,” the official statement added.

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The group standard is applicable to barnyard millet, Amaranthus, Buckwheat, Finger Millet, Foxtail Millet, Pearl Millet, Fonio, Little Millet and Sorghum among others.

This comes at a time when the International Year of Millets 2023 provided an opportunity to increase global production, efficient processing and better use of crop rotation and promote millets as a major component of the food basket.

Millets are a group of small-grained cereal food crops that are highly tolerant to drought and other extreme weather conditions and require low chemical inputs such as fertilizers and pesticides. Most millet crops are native to India and provide most of the nutrients required for normal functioning of the human body, the statement added.