Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Mindless Masters

                                              With the introduction of FSSA our government Bapu’s have once again proved they are living in a world that is cut out from the reality. Rules that are brought in are mindless, draconian and do not fit the Food & Beverage Industry atmosphere of our country. At first instance, how did they even accepted the recommendations with-out fine tuning or customizing according to the conditions (fragments of food business) of our country. Yes, the FSSA rules fetched in from abroad are great and fits good for western countries & for mass food producing & food processing industries in our country. But not for majority of small shops that cater to the mass public & shouldn’t have to implement the rules (common) as it is (for all segments of the food business) for a country like ours where most food outlets that cater to the masses are run by road side/home based and small outlets. The rules of FSSAI are unrealistic how do they expect a road side caterer to appoint a Diploma/Graduate holder to supervise their small unit which is mostly run either individually/self-employed or as a family or with the help of one or two assistants, instead they should concentrate more on the hygiene & cleanliness part by educating them about the GHP & GMP practices.

I wonder how many high end hotels, restaurants and industrial caterers have implemented these practices or educated and trained their staff on it. Before bringing in the rules to live, have our bapus ever sensitized or educated the business community about the rules that are going to be covered under this? Had they taken the steps to inculcate the rules as a chapter into the hotel/hospitality schools syllabus?     
These rules simply pave way for harassment of businesses under the hands of local bapus and a breeding ground for corruption. First of all does any of the sanitary/food inspectors are equipped or have the knowledge to identify the products just by observing or sensing whether it is with in or out of shelf life. 

How often do they walk into an established brand/chain food outlets and checked for the quality & quantity and how many times have they issued a paper for the deficiency. Does this mean that all these businesses follow the HACCP, GHP & GMP to the core, of course not it’s because our Bapus are afraid of the influences that will wage a war against them if they ever even think of issuing a paper. It is the helpless and uneducated roadside & small eateries who are being fleeced & harassed by all walks of authorities due to their ignorance & inability.   

Our Central Bapus from the (recommending & implementing) departments should be made to stroll the nook and corner of the country to conduct a reality check before implementing these rules.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Milk? R U 100% sure it is?

Shocking survey details from FSSAI -National Survey on Adulteration of Milk.

     I can console myself  as i residing in Chennai (Tamilnadu region 12%) which is second only to Andhra (6.7%) in percentage in the survey by means of Non confirming to standards. Some states like Chattisgarh where it is 100% non confirming to standards i wonder what they drink in the name of Milk.

There are more than five states which comes into 100% Non confirming samples.

Please check the link for the survey details www.fssai.gov.in/Portals/0/Pdf/State_milk_survey(02-01-2012).pdf and the following link for an article by Ms.Menaka Gandhi in "The Hindu"s Sunday issue http://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/society/article3431926.ece with the tests that has to be carried out to differentiate the real milk from the white poison.   

Can we say it is the sheer greed for money of some cruel creatures hiding in the name of human beings in the Dairy business and throwing the public's health in to thin air.

It is you the public's duty to find out the black sheep in your region and bring it to books and ban the business.

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Beware Coffee enthusiast: You are put on the wrong track, be careful of the institutions that you take up for gaining knowledge?

Very recently I happened to attend a class in one of the finest repute institution in Bangalore about coffee roasting there were people from all parts of India who were eager to know about coffee and its science there were senior executives of upcoming chains, future entrepreneurs, planters and some enthusiasts who were keen in getting into coffee business. I was stunned with the way class was conducted from day one sharing very less information about coffees and in most of the instances people were misguided about coffees. I will share just one example over here “I was contradicted and mocked when I said that each and every region has its own profile for coffees (to be specific about Aroma, Acidity, Body & Flavor) but the instructor (having a doctorate degree to his name) who conducted the class was on a denying mood from the beginning till the end of the class, to the contrary I happened to see the specialty coffee(regions of India) labels (they use it) in the lab that talks much about the profiling of the coffees.

So is the instructor or the institution that is lying. If they are not ready to part the knowledge with the public then they shouldn’t have conducted these kind of classes in the first instance. Just for monetary gains please don’t take the people on wrong path.

I feel pity for the fellow attendees who by now started believing that what they (instructors) said & taught is true and will pass on the same wrong information to their counterpart, juniors & staffs.

Hurray, thanks to the Institution & the training Class for putting the attendees on the wrong track.

Long live democracy.

Friday, 24 February 2012

How fresh is your coffee?

            Have you ever wondered how fresh your coffee that you drink is? Come on seriously this is not for instant coffee drinkers this exercise is meant for people who brew to sip either it may be a filter coffee or other freshly brewed method.

Here is a small test to know more about the freshness of your coffee:

1.       Where do you purchase your ground coffee?
                                 i.            Neighborhood retail Shop.
                               ii.            From the racks of Supermarket.
                              iii.            Coffee shop.
                             iv.            Coffee roastery. 
2.       What is the quantity of coffee that you purchase each time?
                                 i.            100 gms.
                               ii.            500 gms.
                              iii.            250 gms.
                             iv.            750 gms.
3.       How often do you purchase your coffee?
                                 i.            Twice in a week.
                               ii.            Weekly.
                              iii.            Bi-Weekly.
                             iv.            Monthly.

4.       How do you store your coffee powder once it has been opened?
                                 i.            In the same packing.
                               ii.            Stainless steel container (with packing).
                              iii.            Plastic container- Air tight (with packing).
                             iv.            Freezer.

Add up the points for that you have selected and know your  results
1. i – 2, ii – 2, iii – 2, iv – 4
2. i – 4, ii – 2, iii – 3, iv – 1
3. i – 4, ii – 3, iii – 2, iv – 1
4. i – 1, ii – 2, iii – 3, iv – 1

1.       13-15 – Good
2.       8-13 – O.K
3.       5-8 – Bad

Yes it’s true, you can tell a lot about your favorite coffee if you know where it was grown it’s because each and every coffee producing region has its own individual taste profile.

Monday, 20 February 2012

Certification of Coffees

Certifications that are offered for Coffees which will obtain premium price in the International market. They are as follows:
1.       Organic - Create a verified sustainable agriculture system that produces food in harmony with nature, supports biodiversity and enhances soil health.

2.       Fair Trade Certified - Support a better life for farming families in the developing world through fair prices, direct trade, community development and environmental stewardship.

3.       Rainforest Alliance - Integrate biodiversity conservation, community development, workers’ rights and productive agricultural practices to ensure comprehensive sustainable farm management.

4.       Smithsonian Bird Friendly® - Conduct research and education around issues of neo-tropical migratory bird populations, promoting certified shade coffee as a viable supplemental habitat for birds and other organisms.

5.       Utz Certified - UTZ CERTIFIED’s mission is to achieve sustainable agricultural supply chains, where: Producers are professionals implementing good practices which enable better businesses, livelihoods and environments; The Food industry takes responsibility by demanding and rewarding sustainably grown products; Consumers buy products which meet their standard for social and environmental responsibility.

6.       4 C Common Code - Achieve global leadership as the baseline initiative that enhances economic, social and environmental production, processing and trading conditions to all who make a living in the coffee sector.

Friday, 17 February 2012

Falling Arabica production in India?

Is it the shyness of the farmers towards Arabica or they are working on cluster growth on Robusta?

                 World over Arabica is ruling the coffee market with higher prices even the new regions that come up with coffee plantations in South America and African continent start producing and concentrate mainly on Arabica which fetch a much better price than robusta beans per square meter of their farm.

Production of Coffee in India

But farmers in India are switching to Robusta production from the Arabica plantation for various reasons; one of the reasons is Arabica which is prone to diseases, there’s a reason to cheer about is that Non traditional areas are concentrating more on Arabica plantations than their counterpart traditional growing areas.
Coffee Shipment from India by types:
Arabica (Plantation+Cherry)
Robusta (Parchment+Cherry)

How come farmers in other countries could raise the Arabica trees and harvest the produce with out much hesitation and demand a superior price in the market for their produce.  
It is time for our people (Planters) they should think, act and try to get a much better return from their plantation.