Adulteration of Fruits and Vegetables
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.