Cus­tard Pow­der More to it than the yel­low colour

Consumer Voice - - The Surveillance Series -

“Youeat,in­dreams,the­cus­tard­ofthe­day.” ~Alexan­derPope

Be­fore any­thing, let us be clear that cus­tard pow­der is not ac­tu­ally cus­tard that has been dried into a pow­der. It is mostly a starch that has been coloured yel­low, sweet­ened, and flavoured. So now, you just com­bine it with milk and cook it for it to thicken, to get the colour, taste, and aroma of cus­tard. While thick­en­ers give the cus­tard its tex­ture (corn­starch is usu­ally the big­gest com­po­nent, since it is great for thick­en­ing liq­uids and dis­solves eas­ily), yel­low colour­ing gives it just enough colour to look as though there are plenty of eggs in it (most ba­sic cus­tards are thick­ened with eggs in­stead of pow­der). For flavour­ing, vanilla is the one you are most likely to find in a reg­u­lar cus­tard pow­der. There are sev­eral brands of cus­tard pow­der, and stores may sell their own brands as well. The ques­tion then is: do the reg­u­lar cus­tard pow­der have syn­thetic colour? Are they mi­cro­bi­o­log­i­cally safe? Are we con­sum­ing lead and ash along with the cus­tard? The fol­low­ing re­port checks six brands along th­ese and other pa­ram­e­ters.

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