Besan: Fresh or Flawed?
9 brands tested
Quite the staple of various snacks devoured in Indian households, from pakodas to laddoos, besan (or gram flour) is as common as it gets. Every kitchen has it. That there is protein or carbohydrate to be had from it perhaps escapes our attention or knowledge. But then, do we know that acidity beyond a limit can affect the besan’s shelf life? Do we have a favourite besan type or brand, and if yes, is it good or safe enough? Does it meet the basic requirements? What do we know about their ‘fineness’ and purity—is there kesari dal mixed with the besan? This report is a first-hand study of nine brands available with various retailers in India and the good news is that while some brands did not really make the cut when it came to freshness, all passed the adulteration test.
The test programme, carried out in an NABL-accredited laboratory, was mainly based on FSS Rules 2011, IS: 2400: 1976 (specification for besan) and Agmark. The parameters included protein, carbohydrate and fat percentage, fineness and alcoholic acidity. The nine brands were also checked for adulteration with kesari dal, foreign starch, foreign particles and other impurities.