Thiruvananthapuram: The 4th session of the Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs to determine the quality of spices according to the international standards commenced here on Monday. This time the committee will be determining the standard of Kerala products including Tulsi or basil.
The Codex Committee comprises 189 members. Representatives of 35 countries are participating in the five-day long session. The committee considers the proposed draft standard for oregano, nutmeg, saffron, cloves, dried ginger, dried garlic, dried chilli and dried basil. The Codex Alimentarius Commission will recognise these standards later.
This is the fourth session of the committee being held at Thiruvananthapuram. The other three sessions were held in Kochi, Goa and Chennai. The Codex Alimentarius Commission had approved the proposed standard of thyme, pepper and cumin determined in the Chennai session.
Governor P. Sathasivam inaugurated the session chaired by Rita Teaotia, chairperson of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). Spices Board Secretary M. K. Shanumuga Sundaram, Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries Secretary M. Saravanan, Codex Committee on Spices and Culinary Herbs Chairman M. R. Sudarshan and Spices Board Director Dr. A. B. Ramasree also addressed the session.
The standardisation of spices ensures international market for them and the use of spices in food and medicines is determined based on the standards. The Codex Alimentarius Commission was formed in 1961 jointly by World Health Organisation (WHO) and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) under the United Nations.
The Codex Committee was formed in 2013 with the support of 189 countries in order to gather opinion of various nations and international institutions to form the standard of spices. India is in charge of this committee.