Ministry sets standards for bread production

MUSCAT, DEC 7 – Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, has issued decision number 95/2019, approving Omani standard specifications for bread which is mandatory to be followed by the establishments engaged in bread production. The first article of the decision of the ministry says that the Oman standard specifications for bread are mandatory to be adhered. However, it has excluded breads produced for the purpose of export only. The second article of the decision says that an administrative fine not exceeding RO 1,000 will be imposed for violation of the provisions of these standard specifications. If repeated violations are found, the fine would be multiplied and the establishment, the part of it which produces the bread, could also be closed down temporarily.
The Omani standard specifications for bread determines general requirements for all types of bread made of wheat flour or mixed with other types of cereal flour. The standard specifications do not include other types used for special food purposes.
The obligatory standard specifications, according to ministerial decision No 95/2019, refers to the items which include all food products prepared by mixing and kneading wheat flour, water, food salt and fermentation material, and one or more of the optional materials mentioned in items (4-11-2) of the standard specifications attached to the decision, and it is left for fermentation, then cut according to the required weight, shaped and left for some time, then baked at an appropriate temperature of 205-235 Centigrade in which the heat and humidity both are controlled.
It also talks about the other materials which can be added to the bread, whether intentionally or unintentionally, and any material which is not of the same origin of the product, and which is not one of its components such as dirt, gravel, and sand, and any mineral or glass residue or plastic or animal residue, such as deadly insects and their parts, the waste of rodents, hair, nails, and any other material which can directly or indirectly enter into the product, whether during the manufacture, packaging, offer for sale, or any other stage the product goes through.
The standard specifications also talk about the general requirements which must be met in the components used in the production of bread. It says that these components must be in accordance with the standard specifications of each of them. Their production, packaging and circulation must be carried out according to the specifications of food packaging and the specific standards.
It clearly mentions that the bread must also be free from pig products and their derivatives, zinc and impurities.
It should also be free from flour and salt blocks which indicate the lack of good mixing of the dough. The bread must be completely baked and free from the burnt parts to retain their distinctive properties in terms of taste and aroma. Similarly, one type of bread must be same in colour, shape and size.
Five per cent increase or decrease is allowed. The bread crust must be identical and homogeneous to the same variety.
The additives must be in the case of being used in the production of bread, according to the Gulf standard specifications.
The product should be free of fungi which can be seen with the naked eye. Also, the sample taken should be representative of what is produced. It is also kept away from pollution sources so that it does get spoiled.
The ministerial decision also talks about the penalties imposed on violators of the Omani standard for bread or baking.