TEST RE­SULTS FOR PHYSICOCHEMICAL PA­RAM­E­TERS

Consumer Voice - - Comparative Test -

Pro­tein | Gluten | Di­etary Fi­bre | Car­bo­hy­drates | Calorific Value | Acid-In­sol­u­ble Ash | Pes­ti­cide Residues | Heavy Metal (Lead) | Afla­tox­ins | Uric Acid | Crude Fi­bre | Mois­ture | To­tal Ash | Al­co­holic Acid­ity

Pro­tein Pro­tein is in­her­ently found in wheat flour. How­ever, the na­tional stan­dards have not spec­i­fied any re­quire­ment for pro­tein in wheat flour. • Pro­tein quan­tity was high­est in Hathi (11.91 per cent) and low­est in Ra­jd­hani (9.98 per cent).

Pro­tein is an es­sen­tial nu­tri­ent. It plays an im­por­tant role in cel­lu­lar main­te­nance, growth and func­tion­ing of the hu­man body.

Gluten Gluten is the wheat’s nat­u­ral pro­tein, and it’s what gives the dough elas­tic­ity, strength and gas-re­tain­ing prop­er­ties. As per FSS Reg­u­la­tions, gluten in wheat flour should not be less than 6.0 per cent by weight; as per Ag­mark, it should be a min­i­mum 7 per cent for stan­dard grade and a min­i­mum 9 per cent for spe­cial grade.

• All brands ad­hered to the spec­i­fied con­di­tions.

Di­etary fi­bre Wheat flour con­tains di­etary fi­bres and pro­health vi­ta­mins in abun­dance. How­ever, as yet no re­quire­ment has been spec­i­fied in the na­tional stan­dards for di­etary fi­bre in wheat flour.

• Di­etary fi­bre was found high­est in Re­liance (10.28 per cent) and low­est in Shakti Bhog (8.13 per cent).

Di­etary fi­bre has many health ben­e­fits. It can re­duce one’s risk for heart dis­ease, di­a­betes and some can­cers, and also help in weight con­trol. High di­etary fi­bre con­tent helps in easy di­ges­tion and re­liev­ing.

Car­bo­hy­drates Car­bo­hy­drates are a ma­jor com­po­nent of wheat flour. They are there­fore ex­pected to be high in wheat flour. As yet, no re­quire­ment for car­bo­hy­drates in wheat flour has been spec­i­fied in the na­tional stan­dards.

• Car­bo­hy­drate was high­est in Re­liance (76.03 per cent) and low­est in Ken­driya Bhan­dar (72.90 per cent).

Car­bo­hy­drates are a source of en­ergy. They are the sug­ars, starches and fi­bres found in fruits, grains and veg­eta­bles and milk prod­ucts.

Acid-In­sol­u­ble Ash

As per In­dian Stan­dard, acid-in­sol­u­ble ash con­tent in wheat flour shall not be more than 0.10 per cent; as per FSS Reg­u­la­tions, it shall not be more than 0.15 per cent (on dry-weight ba­sis). All 10 brands con­formed to the spec­i­fied limit.

Acid-in­sol­u­ble ash in­di­cates the pres­ence of sand, dirt and dust.

Calorific (En­ergy) Value

Calorific value is the amount of calo­ries that our body ob­tains from food. For calorific value of wheat flour, there is no re­quire­ment pre­scribed in the na­tional stan­dards. We have con­sid­ered a higher quan­tity to be bet­ter.

Calorific value was high­est in Kanak (369.33 kcal/100 gm ) and low­est in Ken­driya Bhan­dar (355.10 kcal/100 gm).

Pes­ti­cide Residues

We tested the wheat flour brands for 150 pes­ti­cides. FSS Reg­u­la­tions have spec­i­fied the max­i­mum per­mis­si­ble limit for in­di­vid­ual pes­ti­cides.

• One pes­ti­cide, cop­per oxy­chlo­ride, was de­tected in all the brands but it was within the spec­i­fied limit (max­i­mum 20 mg/kg). None of the other pes­ti­cides was found in any brand (up to the de­tec­tion limit). Thus, all brands are safe for con­sump­tion.

Heavy Metal (Lead)

The per­mis­si­ble limit for lead in wheat flour is 2.5 mg/kg.

• Lead was not de­tected in any of the brands.

Afla­tox­ins (B1, B2, G1, G2)

As per FSS Reg­u­la­tions, afla­tox­ins shall not ex­ceed 15 g/kg. Afla­tox­ins were not de­tected in any of the brands, mak­ing them safe for con­sump­tion.

Afla­tox­ins are a kind of toxin or poi­son pro­duced by the mould Aspergillus flavus. When an­i­mals or hu­mans con­sume these com­pounds, they may pro­duce se­vere un­de­sir­able health ef­fects.

Uric Acid

Uric acid of wheat flour in­creases as in­fes­ta­tions in­crease. As per Ag­mark, it should not be more than 100 mg/kg.

• Uric acid was be­low the de­tec­tion limit in all brands.

Main­tain­ing low uric acid lev­els may help guard against cer­tain types of kid­ney stones, as well as gout – a painful form of arthri­tis.

Crude fi­bre

As per the na­tional stan­dards, crude fi­bre con­tent of wheat atta shall not be more than 2.5 per cent.

• Crude fi­bre in all brands fell within the spec­i­fied limit.

Crude fi­bre is a mea­sure of the quan­tity of in­di­gestible cel­lu­lose, pen­tosans, lignin and other com­po­nents of this type present in food. Crude fi­bre helps in the treat­ment and pre­ven­tion of con­sti­pa­tion, haem­or­rhoids and di­ver­ti­c­uli­tis.

Mois­ture

Mois­ture is an in­di­ca­tor of grain stora­bil­ity. Wheat or flour with high mois­ture con­tent (greater than 14.5 per cent) at­tracts mould, bac­te­ria and in­sects, all of which cause de­te­ri­o­ra­tion dur­ing stor­age. Wheat flour with low mois­ture con­tent is more sta­ble dur­ing stor­age.

As per FSS Reg­u­la­tions, mois­ture con­tent in wheat flour shall not be more than 14 per cent by weight.

• Mois­ture con­tent in all brands was within the spec­i­fied limit.

To­tal ash

To­tal ash in­cludes es­sen­tial min­er­als and some un­wanted ma­te­ri­als in the flour. It is de­ter­mined by burn­ing a given quan­tity of flour un­der pre­scribed con­di­tions and mea­sur­ing the residue. As per the na­tional stan­dards, to­tal ash in wheat flour shall not be more than 2.0 per cent by weight.

To­tal ash in all brands was within the spec­i­fied limit.

Al­co­holic acid­ity

Higher al­co­holic acid­ity is an in­di­ca­tor of higher acid­ity of the germ oil in the flour. As per FSS Reg­u­la­tions, al­co­holic acid­ity in wheat flour shall not be more than 0.18 per cent by weight; as per In­dian Stan­dard, it shall not be more than 0.1 per cent.

All brands were within the spec­i­fied lim­its.

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