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FSSAI Standards for Pepper Black (Kalimirch)

FSSAI Standards for Pepper Black (Kalimirch)

Pepper Black is the dried form of Piper nigrum L. berries. It is widely used as spice/condiment in Indian cooking. The berries are generally picked before complete ripening and may be brown, grey or black in color. It is known for its various nutritional benefits, as well as its flavor-enhancing properties in the food products. […]

Pepper Black is the dried form of Piper nigrum L. berries. It is widely used as spice/condiment in Indian cooking. The berries are generally picked before complete ripening and may be brown, grey or black in color. It is known for its various nutritional benefits, as well as its flavor-enhancing properties in the food products.

FSSAI in order to ensure the safety of consumers have listed the specification for salt, spices, condiments and related product under regulation 2.9 of Food Product Standards Regulation of Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. The regulation 2.9.15, lists the required specifications, to which Kalimirch Manufactured or Imported in India shall conform.

The standards have been mentioned separately for Whole, Powder, Light Black Pepper and Pinheads. Light Berry means berry that has reached an apparently normal stage of development but the kernel does not exist. Broken berry means berry that has been separated in two or more parts and Pinhead means berry of very small size that has not developed.

Black Pepper
Black Pepper

For Whole Black Pepper, the berries are generally picked before complete ripening and may be brown, grey or black in color. It shall conform to the following standards:—

  1. Light Berries – Not more than 5.0 percent by weight
  2. Pinheads or broken berries – Not more than 4.0 percent by weight
  • Bulk Density (gm/liter) – Not less than 490 gm/liter by weight
  1. Moisture – Not more than 13.0 percent by weight
  2. Total ash on dry basis – Not more than 6.0 percent by weight
  3. Non-volatile ether extract on dry basis – Not less than 6.0 percent by weight
  • Volatile oil content on dry basis – Not less than 2.0 percent by v/w
  • Peperine Content on dry basis – Not less than 4.0 percent by weight
  1. Insect damaged matter (percent by weight) – Not more than 1.0 percent by weight
Black-Pepper
Black-Pepper

Pepper Black powder means the powder obtained by grinding dried berries without addition to any other matter. The powder shall have characteristic aromatic flavor, free from foreign odor, mustiness or rancidity. It shall conform to the following standards:—

  1. Moisture Not more than – 12.5 percent by weight
  2. Total ash on dry basis – Not more than 6.0 percent by weight
  • Ash insoluble in dilute – Not more than 1.2 percent HCl on a dry basis by weight
  1. Crude Fibre on dry – Not more than 17.5 percent basis by weight
  2. Non-volatile ether – Not less than 6.0 percent by extract on dry basis weight
  3. Volatile oil content on – Not less than 1.75 percent dry basis by v/w
  • Peperine Content on – Not less than 4.0 percent by dry basis weight

FSSAI has prescribed a limit of not more than one percent by weight of extraneous matter in the product. However, the Pepper Black powder shall be free from any extraneous matter.

Light Black Pepper is the dried berries, dark brown to dark black in color. It shall not contain more than 2 percent by weight of any other foreign edible seeds. Pinheads are derived wholly from the spikes. The color of pinheads ranges from dark brown to black.

It is mandatory that the Black Pepper (Kali Mirch) products shall be free from mold, living and dead insects, insect fragments and rodent contamination. They shall also be free from added color, mineral oil, and any other harmful substances.

Reference:

  1. Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011 – https://fssai.gov.in/dam/jcr:99067191-c774-4c81-b9c8-708b9e72b770/Food_Additives_Regulations.pdf

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