The seventh CCSCH session ends and the Codex standards are finalized for the five new spices.

The Codex Commission on Spices and Culinary Herbs (CCSCH) has developed and recommended quality standards for five spices – allspice, juniper berries, star anise, turmeric and cardamom – in its seventh session held in Kochi. After much deliberation, the Committee decided to submit the draft standards to the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) for adoption as full Codex standards. The draft vanilla standard has reached stage 5 and will be revised again. Proposals for the development of Codex standards for dried coriander seeds, cardamom, sweet marjoram and cinnamon were presented to and approved by the Commission. The committee will discuss the draft standards for these four spices in its next meetings.

Codex standards are of global importance because they are prepared by intergovernmental committees, are used to resolve international commercial disputes and are also the basis for the harmonization of national standards of Codex member states. Codex standards are produced through an 8-step process, where reviews are carried out in several stages using working groups led by Member States. The standard drafts prepared by the working groups are formalized through negotiations and discussions and consensus at the plenary session of the commission.

The Seventh Plenary Session of the CCSCH was the first physical meeting after a gap of five years. As many as 109 representatives from 31 countries participated in the five-day meeting. For the first time, a large number of Latin American countries also participated in the session. The committee is chaired by India and has the Spices Council as its secretariat. MR. Sudharshan is the current chairman of the committee. The committee is mandated to develop global science-based quality standards for spices and herbs in accordance with Codex principles of consumer protection and fair trade. The Committee developed and refined Codex standards for 11 spices and culinary herbs during the past six sessions. The next meeting of the committee will take place in 18 months.

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