Jal Jeera Pow­der Re­fresh­ing Yes, but Go Easy on the Salt

Consumer Voice - - Packaged Food Series -

Made for the hot and sul­try In­dian sum­mer, the jal jeera drink is cool­ing, spicy, de­li­cious and ap­pe­tiz­ing. While it can be pre­pared at home or bought from street ven­dors (who keep it in large earthen pots to keep it cool), pack­aged jal jeera pow­der is also avail­able in the mar­ket un­der var­i­ous brand names. At Con­sumerVoice, we soft-tested seven brands of jal jeera, and checked out the salt amount in a lab­o­ra­tory.

al jeera pow­der gen­er­ally con­sists of salt, cumin, gin­ger, black pep­per, mint and black salt (rock salt). The cumin is a medic­i­nal in­gre­di­ent that aids di­ges­tion. Black salt (rock salt) also acts as a di­ges­tive, while the mint has a cool­ing ef­fect. As there is no spec­i­fi­ca­tion for jal jeera pow­der in Food Safety and Stan­dards Reg­u­la­tions, 2011, it is cat­e­go­rized as pro­pri­etary food. As per Sec­tion 22(4) of Food Safety and Stan­dards Act, 2006, pro­pri­etary or novel food means an ar­ti­cle of food for which stan­dards have not been spec­i­fied but is not un­safe.

Unit price

Unit price: It helps the con­sumer to know quickly about costly and cheaper brands. Among the seven we tested, Roopak is costli­est and Jalani is cheap­est.

Salt

Salt per­cent­age was tested in an NABL-ac­cred­ited lab­o­ra­tory. Salt was the

ma­jor in­gre­di­ent in all brands, vary­ing from 41.99 per cent to 60.77 per cent.

As per a World Health Or­ga­ni­za­tion (WHO) re­port, the rec­om­mended level of salt con­sump­tion is less than five grams (about one tea­spoon) per per­son per day. Hence, jal jeera drink may be con­sumed in mod­er­a­tion.

Cau­tion

Brand Jalani car­ries this note of cau­tion on its la­bel – ‘never use cop­per, brass, nickel & Ger­man sil­ver pots’. As most of the brands con­tain acid, jal jeera drink should not be pre­pared or served in metal pots.

Sen­sory Eval­u­a­tion

All jal jeera pow­der brands were eval­u­ated by ex­pert pan­el­lists at the food and nu­tri­tion lab­o­ra­tory of a re­puted col­lege of Delhi Univer­sity. The jal jeera drink was pre­pared by adding five tea­spoons (about 25 grams) of pow­der to one litre chilled wa­ter. The drink was served to pan­el­lists af­ter thor­ough mix­ing be­cause spices tend to set­tle at the bot­tom. Scores by pan­el­lists were given on a rat­ing scale of 5 (1 for very poor and 5 for ex­cel­lent).

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