Food is one of the basic necessities for the sustenance of life. But we have all become a little sceptical of the purity and quality standards of the food we consume these days. Food colours, chemicals and additives often creep up not just in our local produce, but even in packaged products. Mixing milk with water to add volume, the starch in paneer to make it thicker and fluffier, hydrogenated oils and vanaspati in ghee, and anatta in butter to give it that dark, rich yellow colour, stories like these often shake us up and make us question what we eat. Food adulteration is posing a great threat to us. Find out more about it.
What Is Food Adulteration?
Via The food safety company
Food adulteration is an act of adding or mixing of poor quality, inferior, harmful, substandard, useless or unnecessary substances to food. This act of spoiling the nature and quality of food items is considered food adulteration. Adulterated food is dangerous because it may be toxic and can affect health and it could deprive nutrients essential for proper growth and development of a human being. The worst part is some adulterated food even causes cancer, the most life-threatening disease.
Types Of Adulteration
Food items, medicines, vegetables, paste, creams, products of famous brands and so on and so forth. Maybe because of this adulteration, people who consume such adulterated food suffer from upset stomach and other health-related issues. I can say more than 20 per cent patients who visit a doctor or any clinic or any hospital are those who had consumed such adulterated food and food products.
How The Fast Food Concept Is Affecting Us
Via The big edge
After the arrival of fast food concept and online order practices, the consumers really do not bother what type of food is being served to them. They totally forget the health aspect and only concentrate to get their order served at their doorsteps. Taking advantage of a consumer’s laziness, many restaurants and food joints which serve food do not bother to give importance to the quality aspect of the food but only want to satisfy their customers by serving them on time.
Why do companies engage in adulteration?
Their one and only intention being that they want to increase their profit margin and want to earn big in a short time. Just to make more profit and money, risking other’s lives is absolutely an unethical practice. But they do not bother at all. Food adulteration gives these tech companies an easy way out. An escape route. With a very few lakhs, they spend they try to gain as much as amount they can. The effects of adulteration are not distinctly seen. Hence, no immediate concerns can be raised.
The Most Common Food Frauds
Via financial tribune
According to FSSAI, Some of the most common adulterated foods are milk and milk products, atta, edible oils, cereals, condiments, pulses, coffee, tea, confectionery, baking powder, vinegar, besan and curry powder. Sometimes, simply looking at the food won’t give away whether it’s been adulterated or not. In a lot of cases, food additives and chemicals hide behind their scientific pseudo names. While this might not fall under the exact definition of food adulteration, they’re just as bad.
What We As Public Do?
People need to be very cautious when they buy products from stores and malls. They should check for standards like ISI standard mark, Agmark for quality products, FSSAI standard mark, date of packing and date of expiry etc. If none of the prescribed standard marks is there, then they should totally avoid buying such products.
Check Your Food for Adulteration
There is a good chance that a lot of what you eat is adulterated. While it might be difficult to detect with regards to packaged foods, there are certain everyday foods you can cross-check. FSSAI has put together a list of foods that you frequently consume and how to spot if any of them have been tampered with or adulterated.
Milk: Put a drop of milk on a polished slanting surface. If it flows leaving a white trail behind, then it’s pure but if it flows without leaving a mark then it’s adulterated. To make sure that the milk you’re having isn’t synthetic, pay attention to its taste. Synthetic milk has a bitter, almost soapy aftertaste and turns yellow on heating.
Honey: Honey is often adulterated with water to increase the bottle’s quantity. The best way to ensure that’s not the case, dip a cotton wick in pure honey and light it with a matchstick. If there is water in the jar it won’t allow the honey to burn.
Chilli powder: Chilli powder is often adulterated with a similar-looking substance like brick powder. To find out if yours is too, take a teaspoon of chilli powder and stir it into a glass of water. If the water changes colour to something red and earthy then you know your powder was adulterated.
Tea: Take a filter paper and spread a few tea leaves on it. Sprinkle some water over the filter. If there is any colour present in the leaves then it’ll stain the paper. Now wash the filter paper under tap water and carefully look for stains against the light. If it is adulterated, then it will certainly be coloured differently.