Grading of Ghee

Agmark grading scheme was initiated by the Agricultural Marketing Department in 1938 under the Agricultural Produce (Grading and marketing) Act of 1937 and revised from time to time. The parties (ghee packers) desirous of packing ghee under Agmark is considered by the Joint Agricultural Marketing Advisor, Nagpur for issue of certificate of authorization on receipt of a written request from the ghee packer. It is followed by a recommendation by the State Agricultural Marketing Department on inspection report about the equipment refining facilities, laboratory and qualified chemists.


i. Procedure for using Agmark Label

The ghee packer or the party who intends to use Agmark grade first of all undertakes preliminary screening of raw material for the general characteristics (organoleptic tests) and butyro-refractometer reading, Baudouin test and acid value before purchase of raw material. On passing the preliminary examinations, refining of Kachha ghee or butter or cream is done adopting the recommended temperature and conditions.Refined ghee is transferred to settling tank for separation of residue at the bottom.

A sample of each lot of freshly made ghee from settling tank (also from the dairy plants, which want to sale ghee under Agmark label) is drawn by the respective chemist and divided into 3 parts. One part is analyzed by the chemist himself at the laboratory of refinery or dairy plant. The second part is sent for check analysis to one of the control laboratory maintained by the agricultural marketing department.These laboratories are: The Central Laboratory, Kanpur, and the Subsidiary Control Laboratory, Rajkot (Gujarat). The third part is sealed and maintained with the ghee packer/producer for future reference.

After drawing the samples, ghee is filled in new tin cans, which have been previously marked with the following particulars:

- Name of the authorized packer
- Place of packing
- Date of packing
- Melt/ batch number

Ghee filled in tins should remain in the custody of chemist till the labels are fixed on them. Agmark labels are printed under security condition on watermark paper bearing the words “Government of India” in microtint to avoid counterfeiting.These are affixed on the tins with a special adhesive supplied by the Agricultural Marketing Advisor to the Govt. of India.


ii. Quality control check

If the control laboratory finds that a melt sample does not conform to the specifications, immediate intimation is sent to the authorized packer and the chemist to remove the Agmark Label from all the tins filled with the melt/batch in question,and ghee rejected from Agmark grading.A check on the quality and purity of ghee is also exercised by frequent inspection of the grading stations/refineries by the state and central marketing staff. Samples of graded ghee are collected from the grading centers and consuming markets(both retail and wholesale) through specially authorized officers. If on analysis,sample is found to be below specifications, the entire melt/batch is declared mis-graded and the packer has to arrange for the removal of Agmark label from the tins pertaining to that batch.

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