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Spices Board has tightened rules of sampling for Jeera (Cumin) exports after receiving several representations from importing countries on adulteration and inferior quality shipments from Gujarat. Surveillance sampling and testing conducted by the Board found adulteration in a cumin seed export consignment of 12.5 MTs in a Gujarat-based Exporting Unit. Quality Evaluation Laboratory of the Board at Kandla (Gujarat) had reported the presence of 23.33% extraneous matter against maximum limit of 3% in the sample taken from the lot, which was a clear indication of adulteration. Pursuing the matter, the Board informed Food & Drugs Control Administration, Gujarat and the department seized the consignment and also picked up samples for analysis. The Board had introduced mandatory sampling and testing for export consignment of cumin seeds with effect from March 01, 2014 for testing the presence of extraneous matters and other seeds. As per the new rules, sampling intimation shall be placed one day prior to the proposed sampling date. The certificate shall be issued by the Spice Board based on the undertaking on the day of packaging. Moreover, stuffing is not allowed without the presence of customs and central excise officials. According to jeera traders, the move taken by the Spices Board is good for the industry as it would restrict adultery. There shall be random sampling at customs area at Mundra port by the Spices Board for confirmatory testing of the consignments. With this the Board will start surveillance and inspection at the stuffing area, Mundra poart, Unjha and Rajkot during April and May. Spice Board in a circular, exporters of jeera and other seed spices requested to follow the rules and regulations. The board said, "Considering the importance and ensuring food safety by supplying and exporting quality jeera, we request all the exporters of jeera and other seed spices to kindly cooperate and support the efforts of the Spices Board in retaining up the country's image and reputation and sustain the developments in the spices industry." Meanwhile, on the back of good domestic as well as export demand, jeera prices have gone up by Rs 40 to Rs 2,800-3,250 per 20 kg at the Unjha market in Gujarat. Arrival of jeera is around 45,000 bags (40 kg bags) per day. India is the major exporter of cumin and is known for its quality in the international market. During April-Dec 2017, cumin was the second-highest exported spice with a volume of 104,260 tonnes and fetched Rs.1761.70 crore.

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