TEST RE­SULTS

FOR PHYSICOCHEMICAL PA­RAM­E­TERS

Consumer Voice - - Black Tea -

Flavonoids | Theaflavins | Crude Fi­bre | Pes­ti­cide Residues | Acid-In­sol­u­ble Ash | To­tal Ash | WaterSol­u­ble Ash | Wa­ter Ex­tract | Al­ka­lin­ity of WaterSol­u­ble Ash Ex­pressed as KOH | Added Colour­ing Mat­ter | Iron Fil­ings | Lead | Cop­per | Afla­tox­ins Flavonoids

In­dian Stan­dard has not spec­i­fied any re­quire­ment for to­tal flavonoids.

Black tea de­vel­ops dif­fer­ent types of flavonoids. These flavonoids have an­tiox­i­dant abil­i­ties and may help pre­vent heart dis­ease and some types of can­cer.

• To­tal flavonoids were found in the range of 6.25 per cent–55.69 per cent w/w (mass/mass). Red La­bel had the high­est amount and Goodricke the low­est.

Theaflavins

There is no stan­dard re­quire­ment for theaflavins ei­ther.

• Theaflavins were found in the range of 0.78 per cent–2.15 per cent w/w (mass/mass). Mar­vel had the high­est amount and Taj Ma­hal the low­est.

Theaflavins are pri­mar­ily re­spon­si­ble for the darker colour and stronger flavour of black tea. These have been proved to be ef­fec­tive as an­tiox­i­dants and have many uses – from treat­ing headaches and staving off al­ler­gies to pro­tect­ing the heart and re­duc­ing can­cer risk.

Crude Fi­bre (on dry ba­sis)

Crude fi­bre is a mea­sure of the quan­tity of in­di­gestible com­po­nents present in foods. These com­po­nents have lit­tle food value but be­cause of their ef­fect on the di­ges­tive sys­tem, they are thought to help with such prob­lems as di­a­betes and high lev­els of blood choles­terol. Crude fi­bre is an im­por­tant pa­ram­e­ter in the qual­ity eval­u­a­tion of tea and in­flu­ences its sen­sory prop­er­ties.

As per FSS Reg­u­la­tions and In­dian Stan­dard, crude fi­bre in tea shall not be more than 16.5 per cent. • Crude fi­bre was found within the spec­i­fied limit of

16.5 per cent. Pes­ti­cide Residues Pes­ti­cide is a chem­i­cal or bi­o­log­i­cal agent (such as a virus, bac­terium, an­timi­cro­bial, or dis­in­fec­tant) that de­ters, in­ca­pac­i­tates, kills, or oth­er­wise dis­cour­ages pests. Pes­ti­cides may cause acute and de­layed health ef­fects in peo­ple who are ex­posed. Such ad­verse health ef­fects range from sim­ple ir­ri­ta­tion of the skin and eyes to more se­vere ef­fects like af­fect­ing the ner­vous sys­tem, mim­ick­ing hor­mones caus­ing re­pro­duc­tive prob­lems, and caus­ing can­cer.

We have con­ducted tests for fol­low­ing pes­ti­cides residues as per re­quire­ments of FSSAI.

a) Di­co­fol: Max­i­mum per­mis­si­ble limit is 5.0 mg/kg.

• It was not de­tected in any of the sam­ples.

b) Ethion: Max­i­mum per­mis­si­ble limit is 5.0 mg/kg.

• It was not at all de­tected in 12 brands. Traces of ethion were found in Rungta’s and Goodricke but

these were well be­low the spec­i­fied limit. Thus, all the brands passed this test.

c) Fe­naza­quin: Max­i­mum per­mis­si­ble limit is 3 mg/ kg.

• It was not de­tected in any of the sam­ples.

d) Glu­fos­i­nate am­mo­nium: Max­i­mum per­mis­si­ble limit is 0.01 mg/kg.

• It was not de­tected in any of the sam­ples.

e) Glyphosate: Max­i­mum per­mis­si­ble limit is 1.0 mg/kg.

• It was not de­tected in any of the sam­ples.

f) Propar­gite: Max­i­mum per­mis­si­ble limit is 10.0 mg/kg.

• It was not de­tected in any of the sam­ples.

g) Quinalphos: Max­i­mum per­mis­si­ble limit is 0.01 mg/kg.

• Traces of this pes­ti­cide were found in Rungta’s – at 0.04 mg/kg, these went above the spec­i­fied limit. Hence, this brand is not rec­om­mended for con­sump­tion.

Acid-In­sol­u­ble Ash (on dry ba­sis)

Acid-in­sol­u­ble ash in­di­cates the pres­ence of im­pu­ri­ties like sand, dirt and dust in food. As per In­dian Stan­dard and FSS Reg­u­la­tions, acid-in­sol­u­ble ash in tea should not be more than 1.0 per cent by mass. • Acid-in­sol­u­ble ash was found within the spec­i­fied lim­its. It was low­est in Rungta’s (0.11 per cent) and high­est in Fresh & Pure (0.64 per cent).

To­tal Ash (on dry ba­sis)

As per In­dian Stan­dard and FSS Reg­u­la­tions, to­tal ash in tea shall be be­tween 4.0 per cent and 8.0 per cent. • To­tal ash in all brands was within the per­mis­si­ble range.

Wa­ter-Sol­u­ble Ash

Wa­ter-sol­u­ble ash is part of the to­tal ash dis­solved by wa­ter un­der the con­di­tions spec­i­fied in In­dian Stan­dard. As per both FSS Reg­u­la­tions and In­dian Stan­dard, the wa­ter-sol­u­ble ash com­po­nent of to­tal ash shall be a min­i­mum 45 per cent by mass.

• The wa­ter-sol­u­ble ash com­po­nent of to­tal ash was found to be above the min­i­mum re­quire­ment of 45 per cent. Thus, all brands passed in this test.

Al­ka­lin­ity of Wa­ter-Sol­u­ble Ash Ex­pressed as KOH

Al­ka­lin­ity of the wa­ter-sol­u­ble ash is ei­ther the amount of acid re­quired to neu­tralise the aque­ous ex­tract of the to­tal ash or the amount of al­kali equiv­a­lent to this acid. As per FSS Reg­u­la­tions, it should be be­tween 1.0 per cent and 3.0 per cent of to­tal ash; as per In­dian Stan­dard, it should be in the range of 1.19 per cent–2.62 per cent. All the tea sam­ples were found within the spec­i­fied limit.

Wa­ter Ex­tract (on dry ba­sis)

It refers to the sol­u­ble mat­ter ex­tracted from a test por­tion by boil­ing wa­ter un­der the con­di­tions spec­i­fied in In­dian Stan­dard, ex­pressed as a per­cent­age by mass on a dry ba­sis. As per both In­dian Stan­dard and FSS Reg­u­la­tions, wa­ter ex­tract shall not be less than 32 per cent. All sam­ples met the re­quire­ment set by the stan­dards. Wa­ter ex­tract was high­est in Red La­bel (63.52 per cent) and low­est in Nova (32.81 per cent).

Added Colour­ing Mat­ter

Colour adul­ter­ation is not ac­cept­able from the point of view of con­sumers’ health. As per FSS Reg­u­la­tions and In­dian Stan­dard, colour­ing mat­ter shall be neg­a­tive/ab­sent in tea.

• Colour­ing mat­ter was ab­sent in all the sam­ples.

The iron con­tent present in tea is clas­si­fied as ‘in­her­ent iron’ and ‘iron fil­ings’. The for­mer is of plant ori­gin (non­mag­netic part), while the lat­ter is ex­tra­ne­ous in na­ture (mag­netic part). In tea-man­u­fac­tur­ing process, a lot of ma­chin­ery made of iron are utilised to crush, tear, curl and roll the with­ered leaf af­ter har­vest­ing. For ex­am­ple, tea leaves are dried in a sieve fit­ted with a mesh and leaves are cut us­ing iron rollers. The pow­der is crushed in an iron ma­chin­ery. Due to con­tin­u­ous wear and tear of these machines, the metal­lic iron par­ti­cles may get stuck to the tea grains. Iron Fil­ings

The na­tional stan­dards have capped the max­i­mum limit for iron par­ti­cles in tea pow­der at 250 mg per kilo­gram. Iron fil­ings were not found in any of the brands tested.

Iron Over­load?

An ex­cess of iron in the hu­man body can cause over­load­ing and lead to dis­eases like liver cir­rho­sis, os­teo­poro­sis, scurvy, heart fail­ure and oe­sophageal can­cer.

Heavy Met­als

a) Lead: Lead con­tam­i­na­tion of food poses a se­ri­ous health is­sue. Con­sump­tion of even a small amount of lead can cause life­long health prob­lems and re­peated ex­po­sure will have last­ing and detri­men­tal ef­fects. As per In­dian Stan­dard and FSS Reg­u­la­tions, lead in tea shall not be more than 10 mg/kg. • Lead was found within the spec­i­fied limit in all the 14 brands.

b) Cop­per: Cop­per is an es­sen­tial min­eral re­quired by the body for bone and con­nec­tive tis­sue pro­duc­tion, and for cod­ing spe­cific en­zymes that carry out a range of func­tions, from elim­i­nat­ing free rad­i­cals to pro­duc­ing melanin. How­ever, over­con­sump­tion of cop­per may lead to cramps, di­ar­rhoea and vom­it­ing in the short term, and to de­pres­sion, schizophre­nia, hy­per­ten­sion, se­nil­ity and in­som­nia in the long term. Cop­per in large amounts can even be poi­sonous. As per In­dian Stan­dard and FSS Reg­u­la­tions, cop­per in tea shall not be more than 150 mg/kg. • Cop­per was found within the spec­i­fied limit in all the brands.

Afla­tox­ins

Afla­tox­ins are poi­sonous and can­cer-caus­ing chem­i­cals that are pro­duced by cer­tain moulds ( Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus par­a­siti­cus) that grow in soil, de­cay­ing veg­e­ta­tion, hay and grains. Afla­tox­ins are highly toxic com­pounds and can cause both acute and chronic tox­i­c­ity in hu­mans and many other an­i­mals. Four types of afla­tox­ins are nat­u­rally found in foods. These are afla­tox­ins B1, B2, G1 and G2. Afla­toxin B1 is the most commonly found in food and also the most toxic.

There is no stan­dard re­quire­ment for afla­tox­ins. These are ex­pected to be ab­sent in tea. Afla­tox­ins were not de­tected in any of the sam­ples.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.