Be­san: Fresh or Flawed?

9 brands tested

Consumer Voice - - Contents -

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.

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