Who would have thought that our humble pappad (or poppadums as the West calls it) would be subjected to specifications, standards and consequently, approvals?
The United Nations food and health agencies are planning to lay down international standards for how the poppadum can be manufactured. And, if implemented, poppadums will join a list of internationally traded food products drawn up by the Codex Committee on Food Additives and Contaminants. Such a listing would give an importer or an individual consumer a basis for legal action if the poppadum in question fell short of Codex standards.
For poppadums the specifications based on the draft proposal from the Indian Ministry of Health and Family Welfare is likely to be :
1. Should be ‘thin circular discs’ from 5cm (2in) to 25cm in diameter, and between 0.3mm and 1.2mm thick.
2. Should be made from soaked rice flour, black gram or cow pea flour, mixed with salt and spices, and formed into flat cakes.
3. Should be of pleasant taste and smell, and shall be free from rancid or bitter taste and shall not crumble.
4. Should be free from broken or frayed edges, excessive number of holes, dirt or foreign matters, insect infestation or fungal growth.
5. On frying, papad shall be brittle and crispy to bite. They shall not give leathery, gritty, sticky or soggy mouth feel.
6. Should contain no more than 3 per cent fat, have a moisture level of 12.5-15 per cent and a maximum pH reading of 8.5.
Do check out the source for interesting information about Codex and more proposals for some Indian food items.
Source : The Times