The contamination found by European Union (EU) in whole star anise and Saigon cinnamon, which is imported from Vietnam has been notified to all exporters, manufacturers and other related industries by the Indian Spices Board. Indian importers and manufacturing units of curry powders and garam masalas are required to make their imported consignments of whole star anise and Saigon cinnamon free from non-approved food colour, Chrysoidine, to avoid any kind of exports rejection and recall of their consignments.
According to a Spices Board press release issued in Kochi, which stated: in a rapid alert notification, the EU has informed of potential contamination of whole star anise and cinnamon from Vietnamese with a non-approved colour known as Chrysoidine.
The notification issued by the European Commission (Health and Consumers, Directorate - General) recently in Brussels has observed that Chrysoidine is a genotoxic carcinogen, exposure of which to a person's diet will increase the risk of cancer. t has been informed that there are no analytical methods now available to test this.
This is not a permitted food colour in EU. The notification says that it has received limited intelligence regarding potential contamination of whole star anise (Illicium verum) and Saigon cinnamon known as Vietnamese Cassia (Cinnamomum loureirii) of Vietnamese origin.
The EU notification also states that they had received this information through their normal horizon scanning activities. It also maintained that the intelligence is in relation to consignments destined for Indian market.
Further, it clarified that there is no evidence for this product entering in the food chain in Europe.