Indian food is all regarding the range of spices used. They lend a definite flavor and aroma which can make your dish amazing. sadly, the purity of the spices & many other food you purchase is changing into a matter of concern where people are doing food adulteration. Today we will also share tips and tricks how you can check food adulteration in certain foods at home with simple tests that can save you and your family but before that let us understand what is adulteration and how it can be harmful.
What is adulteration?
Food Adulteration means something that shouldn’t be added in your food in the first place.
How adulteration can be harmful?
Adulterated food is dangerous because it may be toxic and can affect health starting from liver disorder, diarrhoea, joint pain, heart problems, carcinogenic, loss of eyesight, respiratory problems, kidney disorders & much more.
Types of adulteration
- Intentional adulteration: This adulteration is done intentionally to increase the bulk of the product which also increase profit margin Examples sand, marble chips, stones, chalk powder, etc.
- Incidental Adulteration: These adulteration are found in food due to negligence, ignorance or lack of proper facilities. Example Packaging hazards like larvae of insects, droppings, pesticide residues, etc.
- Metallic adulteration: In this adulteration metallic substances are added purposely or accidentally. Examples iron fillings, arsenic, pesticides, lead from water, mercury from effluents, tins from cans, etc.
Top 12 tips to check food adulteration at home
Adulterant – Yellow aniline dyes, Metanil yellow, Lead chromate
Harmful effects – Carcinogenic
a) To detect the presence of lead chromate, take a glass full of normal water and mix a teaspoon of turmeric in the water, if it immediately leaks streaks of water-soluble color it is adulterated.
b) To detect the presence yellow aniline dyes, metanil yellow. In a glass take warm water & drop 1 tsp of turmeric on the surface of the water. Do not stir or mix it. Leave it for about 20 minutes and then check again. If the water turns cloudy, it is possibly adulterated. Pure turmeric will leave your water clear and sediments settles down at the bottom.
c) Apart from turmeric powder even turmeric roots can be adulterated to find out adulteration place a small piece of turmeric root on a paper and pour 1 tsp of cold water if you see the roots leaving color they can be possibly adulterated.
2.Red Chili Powder
Adulterant – Artificial color, Brick powder
Harmful effects – Stomach problems
a) In a glass of normal water add a teaspoon of recd chilli powder and mix it. if it gives bright red colour it means artificial colour is added and sediment settles down at the bottom it shows the presence of brick powder.
Adulterant – Husk
Harmful effects – Waste of money
a) Take 1 glass of normal water add a teaspoon coriander powder & stir, if it is adulterated with husk it will float on the surface of the water since it is light and pure spice will settle at the bottom.
4.Cumin Seeds & Powder
Adulterant – Grass seeds colored with black color, saw dust
Harmful effects – Waste of money and color are toxic for body
a) In a glass of normal water add a teaspoon of cumin powder and let it stay undisturbed for a few minutes. The adulterants will float on the surface while the pure spice will settle at the bottom of the glass.
b) To check adulteration in cumin seeds simply rub the cumin seeds vigorously with your palms. If your palms turn black then they are adulterated with black color.
5.Sugar and salt
Adulterant – Chalk powder
Harmful effects – Stomach disorder
a) In two glass of water add 1 tsp of salt in one glass and 1 tsp of sugar in second glass. Stir well with spoon if the both the mixture turns white and settles down it indicates the presence chalk which means they are adulterated; a clear solution indicates its purity.
Adulterant – Soap stone or other earthy material
Harmful effects – Dysentery
- Burn small quantity of asafoetida in a stainless-steel spoon. Pure asafoetida will burn like camphor which will produce bright flame where adulterated asafoetida will not produce bright flame
Adulterant– dried tendrils colored maize cobs
Harmful effects – Cancer
- a) Pure saffron will not break easily. Artificial saffron or let’s say adulterated saffron is prepared by soaking maize cob in coloring it with coal tar & sugar. Take water in a glass which is transparent and add little saffron in that. Colour will dissolve rapidly in the water if it is adulterated where pure saffron takes little time to color the water.
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Adulterant – Clay & chicory
Harmful effects – Bloating issues & Constipation
a) Detection of clay – In a glass of water add half tsp of coffee powder stir well and leave it for five minutes if you see clay particles at the bottom it is adulterated.
b) Detection of chicory – In a glass of water add half tsp of coffee powder. Do not stir, if chicory is present it will sink begin to sink.
Harmful effects – Kidney fail, Stomach disorders
- When you taste synthetic milk, it will give a bitter after taste, when you rub milk between the fingers it will you soapy feel which means it is adulterated.
Adulterant – Addition of iron fillings
Harmful effects – liver issues, fatal
a) In a small plate spread tea leaves now move the magnet through it. If it iron filings sticks on the magnet then it is adulterated.
Adulterant – Molasses sugar
Harmful effects – Stomach disorder
a) In a glass of water put a drop of honey it if dissolves it is adulterated.
b) In a bowl add 1 tsp honey, 2-3 drops of water and ¼ tsp of white vinegar together if you see forms honey is adulterated.
Adulterant – Other oils
Harmful effects – Heart problems, liver damage, weak eye sight
a) In a bowl add coconut oil now refrigerate it for 30 minutes if you see different oil separation on the top of the coconut oil then it is adulterated. Pure coconut oil will completely solidify.