Adul­ter­ation of Fruits and Veg­eta­bles

Consumer Voice - - Food Fraud And Adulteration -

Harm­ful chem­i­cal items are known to be added to fruits and veg­etable to en­hance their ap­pear­ance, taste and pro­duc­tion. Oxy­tocin Sac­cha­rin Com­mon Adul­ter­ants Used in Fruits and Veg­eta­bles Wax (paraf­fin) – pe­tro­leum-de­rived wax Colours (which are not per­mit­ted – such as me­tal­lic lead and mala­chite green) Cal­cium car­bide and cop­per sul­phate

Be­yond Food Fraud­u­lence and Adul­ter­ation

For the shiny ap­pear­ance of fruits In­duces growth of wa­ter­melon, brin­jal, gourd and cu­cum­ber To en­hance the ap­pear­ance of fruits and veg­eta­bles In­duces sweet­ness in fruits such as muskmel­ons and wa­ter­mel­ons For ripen­ing of fruits

At times, in­gre­di­ents in the food items are men­tioned in a tricky man­ner. They are men­tioned as ‘less pop­u­lar names’. As per In­dian food laws, this is not clas­si­fied as adul­ter­ation. How­ever, by be­ing aware about such prac­tices, con­sumers can make in­formed food choices. For ex­am­ple: most of the choco­late bars sold in In­dia do not have co­coa, a pri­mary in­gre­di­ent needed for mak­ing choco­lates. They are in fact made with hy­dro­genated veg­etable oils. Many cof­fee brands in In­dia add chicory leaves to the cof­fee. This is done to re­duce the price, cof­fee be­ing an ex­pen­sive com­mod­ity. Ad­di­tion of chicory in cof­fee is legally al­lowed and is known to have no se­ri­ous ad­verse ef­fects on health, al­though some peo­ple may be al­ler­gic to it. Its pres­ence is clearly men­tioned on the cof­fee pack and con­sumers must make an in­formed food choice. Many ice-cream brands in In­dia are frozen desserts – that is, they are not made from milk but from veg­etable fats. This is done to re­duce the pro­duc­tion cost.

Ways to De­tect Com­mon Food Adul­ter­ants

The FSSAI has is­sued a doc­u­ment – ti­tled DART, which stands for ‘de­tect adul­ter­ation with rapid test’ – sum­maris­ing easy and sim­ple ways via which con­sumers can de­tect food adul­ter­ation.

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