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Limit proposed for lead in mushrooms

The EWG recommends that the Committee consider establishing an ML for lead in fungi and mushrooms (excluding dried fungi and mushroom and fungus products) of 0.3 mg/kg.

The maximum level (ML) for lead in fresh mushrooms would be set at 0.3 mg/kg under a recommendation to a FAO WHO Codex Alimentarius committee.

An electronic working group established by the Committee on Contaminants in Foods advises considering that limit in its report on proposed draft revisions of MLs for lead in various food products, including fruit juices and canned fruits and vegetables.

In its report, released in February, the group referred to analysis of a dataset comprised of about 600 samples of fresh fungi and mushrooms from 11 countries.

“For fresh fungi and mushrooms, 99 percent of the samples in the 2016 dataset may meet a hypothetical ML of 0.5 mg/kg, 97 percent of samples may meet a hypothetical ML of 0.4 or 0.3 mg/kg, and 92 percent of samples may meet a hypothetical ML of 0.2 mg/kg. Thus, lowering the ML to the hypothetical level of 0.3 mg/kg would eliminate 3 percent of the samples in international trade and lowering the ML to the hypothetical level of 0.2 mg/kg would eliminate 8 percent of the samples in international trade. The EWG recommends that the Committee consider establishing an ML for lead in fungi and mushrooms (excluding dried fungi and mushroom and fungus products) of 0.3 mg/kg,” it said.

The current version of the General Standard for Contaminants and Toxins in Food and Feed excludes fungi and mushrooms from the 0.05 mg/kg standard for lead in fruiting vegetables.

The next session of the Committee on Contaminants in Foods is to be held in Rotterdam this April 4-8.

Source: PROPOSED DRAFT REVISION OF MAXIMUM LEVELS FOR LEAD IN SELECTED FRUITS AND VEGETABLES (FRESH AND PROCESSED) IN THE GENERAL STANDARD FOR CONTAMINANTS AND TOXINS IN FOOD AND FEED (CODEX STAN 193-1995)

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Smoked garlic a sticking point for Codex garlic standard

The US has argued that smoked garlic is a processed commodity and should not be included in the fresh garlic standard being developed within the framework of the Codex Committee on Processed Fruits and Vegetables (CCPFV).

Smoked garlic is a processed commodity and should not be included in the fresh garlic standard being developed within the framework of the Codex Committee on Processed Fruits and Vegetables (CCPFV). That was the position taken by the US at the committee’s 19th Session, held October 5-9 in Mexico.

A report on the meeting published by the USDA says that during discussion on the proposed draft standard for garlic, most issues were resolved except for the inclusion of “smoked” dried garlic. “Some delegations supported the U.S. position in expressing concern that certain smoking practices may alter the taste and/or appearance of this raw agricultural commodity,” the US delegate said in the report.

“The United States is on record for expressing concerns that smoked garlic may be outside the scope of the CODEX CCFFV terms of reference, which clearly state: ‘to elaborate standards for fresh fruits and vegetables.’ Since smoked garlic should be considered ‘processed,’ it should be referred to the Codex Committee on Processed Fruits and Vegetables (CCPFV) for further discussion.”

In regard to other issues discussed at the meeting, the delegate reported the following:

Proposed Draft Standard for Kiwifruit: The Committee discussed the draft standard and agreed to exclude Actinidia species such as the A. arguta (kiwiberry) from the standard. The standard was aligned with the approved sections of the revised CCFFV standard layout. There was lack of consensus on size-based classes; i.e. the inclusion of different minimum sizes (diameters) per class along with the minimum maturity requirements. The draft standard was advanced to Step 5 for continued elaboration.

​Actinidia-arguta, commonly called kiwiberries

Proposed Draft Standard for Ware Potatoes: Differing view/positions on several provisions of this proposed draft standard such as sprouting, green coloration, presence of rot and allowance for the presence of soil were not resolved at this session. Therefore the CCFFV agreed to return the proposed draft standard to a working group, led by India, at Step 3 for further revision and consideration at its next session.

Proposals for New Work: The Committee considered proposals for the elaboration of new Codex Standards for fresh dates (India), shallots (Indonesia) and yams (Costa Rica). The proposal from India was approved as new work by the CCFFV, subject to CAC approval, while those from Indonesia and Costa Rica were returned for redrafting and submission at the 20th CCFFV session.

Proposed Draft Standard for Aubergines/Eggplant: The Committee made changes to this draft standard based on the product’s characteristics and trade practices to harmonize with an international interpretation. The Committee agreed to forward the draft standard to the 39th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) in June 2016 for adoption at Step 5/8. The U.S. delegation was instrumental in ensuring that this standard harmonized with the revised CCFFV Standard Layout to better reflect global trade and regulatory practices.

The full report, including discussion of the Proposed Revised Layout for Codex Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Standards, can be read online at: http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/international-affairs/us-codex-alimentarius/recent-delegation-reports/2015/delegate-report-19-ccffv

The 20th CCFFV Session is tentatively scheduled in 18 months.

Read other reports by Eurofresh Distribution on the Codex Committee on Processed Fruits and Vegetables (CCPFV) here.

Image sources:

  • Smoked garlic: by Jeremy Keith from Brighton & Hove, United Kingdom (Smoked garlic  Uploaded by Fæ) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via
    CommonsWikimedia
  • “Actinidia-arguta”: by Hiperpinguino – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons
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New Codex aubergine standard

A new standard for aubergines has been forwarded for final adoption by the Codex Alimentarius Commission by the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables.

A new standard for aubergines has been forwarded by the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables to the Codex Alimentarius Commission for final adoption.

The committee has also recommended that the commission advance on draft standards for garlic and kiwifruit and has sought its approval on a proposal for new work on a standard for fresh dates. A draft standard for ware potatoes was returned to working group level for further work.

According to Codex, these were among the outcomes from the committee’s 19th session, which took place in Guerrero, Mexico, October 5–9.

“Member countries will have an opportunity to further work on the standards for garlic, kiwifruit and ware potatoes via electronic working groups to address outstanding issues in these standards,” it said in information published on its website.

“The subsequent revised draft standards will be considered by the next session of the committee which is planned for the second quarter of 2017.

“Other technical matters regarding the template layout of Codex standards for fresh fruits and vegetables were addressed and the meeting also agreed to develop a glossary of terms that would be applied to the layout and standards in this area,” it said.

A full final report will eventually be published on the Codex website here under ‘related meetings’.

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Standards for kiwifruit, ware potatoes, garlic and aubergines on agenda for Codex meeting next month

Draft standards for aubergines, garlic, kiwifruit and ware potatoes are on the agenda at the 19th session of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Guerrero, Mexico, October 5–9.

Draft standards for aubergines, garlic, kiwifruit and ware potatoes are on the agenda at the 19th session of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in Guerrero, Mexico, October 5–9.

And a Codex standard for shallots is also up for discussion at the meeting. That standard has been proposed by Indonesia, which says that, based on FAO data, world production on shallots and onions increased 2.7% per year over 1980-2011.

Read more about the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in our article on its 18th session, held in Thailand in February last year.

image source: “Proposals for new work on fresh fruits and vegetables

 

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Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables meeting in Mexico in October

The 19th session of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables will be held in Mexico from October 5–9

 

The 19th session of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables will be held in Mexico from October 5–9.

The agenda is yet to be set but at the last session, proposals for new work on standards for ware potatoes; garlic, aubergines and kiwifruit were among matters dealt with.

The 18th session, held in Phuket from February 24-28 last year and co-hosted by Mexico and Thailand, included a Codex/OECD side event on pomegranates.

Among the decisions taken at that session were:

  • to incorporate a reference to the Code of Practice for the Reduction of Hydrocyanic Acid in Cassava and Cassava Products into the section on contaminants of the Standards for Sweet Cassava and Bitter Cassava;

  • to forward the standards for passion fruit, durian and okra to the Codex Commission for final adoption;

  • to retain the maturity requirements in the standard for table grapes;

  • to forward proposal for new work on standards for ware potato; garlic, aubergines and kiwifruit to the Codex Commission for approval.

Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

The committee’s terms of reference are:

(a) to elaborate world wide standards and codes of practice as may be appropriate for fresh fruits and vegetables;

(b) to consult with the UNECE Working Party on Agricultural Quality Standards in the elaboration of world wide standards and codes of practice with particular regard to ensuring that there is no duplication of standards or codes of practice and that they follow the same broad format; and,

(c) to consult, as necessary, with other international organizations which are active in the area of standardization of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Draft report from 18th session of the Codex Committee on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

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