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Honey Testing Laboratory Project by Agriculture Ministry

  • Category
    Economy
  • Published
    1st Jun, 2021

On the occasion of World Bee Day and in the auspicious context of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Ministry launched the project of setting up of a honey testing laboratory at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi.

Context

On the occasion of World Bee Day and in the auspicious context of the ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, Union Agriculture & Farmers Welfare Ministry launched the project of setting up of a honey testing laboratory at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Pusa, New Delhi.

About the Honey Testing Laboratory Project

  • The project aims to establish a regional honey quality testing laboratory at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) for quality testing of honey and other products of beekeeping.
    • It has been initiated under the National Beekeeping and Honey Mission.

World Bee Day

  • United Nations designated 20 May as World Bee Day.
  • Objective: It objective was to raise awareness of the importance of pollinators, the threats they face and their contribution to sustainable development.
  • Goal: The goal is to strengthen measures aimed at protecting bees and other pollinators, which would significantly contribute to solving problems related to the global food supply and eliminate hunger in developing countries
    • Pollination is a fundamental process for the survival of our ecosystems. Nearly 90% of the world’s wild flowering plant species depend, entirely, or at least in part, on animal pollination, along with more than 75% of the world’s food crops and 35% of global agricultural land. 
  • It will also be helpful in the development of scientific beekeeping and achieving the target of "sweet revolution".
  • Recently, 10 out of 13 honey brands fail ‘purity test’- The initiative would also support the quality improvement.

National Beekeeping and Honey Mission

  • It is a Central Sector Scheme.
  • It is started for 2 years for overall promotion and development of scientific beekeeping in mission mode.
  • It is started to achieve the goal of “Sweet Revolution” in the country.
  • The mission was announced as part of the Aatmanirbhar Bharat scheme.
  • It trust upon capacity building & trainings, specific focus on women, input support for promotion & production, setting up of Integrated Beekeeping Development Centres (IBDCs), other Infrastructures, Digitization /online registration, etc., processing, value addition, market support, etc. & R&D under 3 Mini Missions (MMs)-MM-1, MM-2 & MM-3.

Sweet revolution

  • It focuses on the beekeeping through scientific methods and production of quality honey and other beehive products. 

Methods of Honey Testing

Test under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI)

  • Key adulteration parameters are tests for C4/C3 sugars, foreign oligosaccharides, Specific Marker for Rice (SMR) i.e. 2-acetylfuran-3-glucopyranoside (AFGP).
    • C4 sugars are those derived from C4 plants (plants using C4 photosynthetic pathway) such as corn, sugarcane
    • C3 sugars are those derived from C3 plants (plants using C3 photosynthetic pathway) such as rice, beet root
  • Trace Marker for Rice syrup (TMR)
  • Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) profiling. NMR is an advanced test to check for adulteration and confirmation of origin of honey.
    • These two tests are not part of the current FSSAI standards.

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