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Top 10 Adulterated and Contaminated Foods in India

Why should I start it so pessimistically? The great land of Indian Nation is still fertile and can yield to billions of people with its unlimited natural resources. For this very reason the nation has been attacked, invaded, looted and now being ransacked by multi-national companies with support of our very own people.

This practice of adulteration may have never existed 40 to 60 years ago in India. People started picked up greediness for better profits, lesser expenses, minimal wages, stashing away money for unnatural spending habits. Before we realize we are now in the midst of a greatly banged-up, messed-up, adulterated food and nutrition supply chain.

Here are the Top ten adulterated foods in India.

  1. Milk

What is considered as the purest food of all from ancient days is fast becoming the slow poison for all of us. In India Milk is a major constituent of our regular diet three times a day. Without Milk or it’s bye-products like curd, butter, cheese, paneer, our Children, kids, adults or even elderly people can’t really survive. Milk offers a steady balance of nutrients like proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

Would you believe if 70% of all the milk sold and consumed are adulterated and contaminated?

This is a fact from a recent country wide survey. Who is to blame? Whether the Farmers, Traders, Milk bottling plant manufacturers or the careless Government institutions? Definitely not the poor Cows or Buffaloes!

Main Milk Adulterant Agents – Detergents, Melamine, water, chalk, urea, caustic soda and skimmed milk

  1. Honey

Next adulterated food item on our list is the Bee Honey. Bees teach us about the hard work. But Man can be super greedy in simply grabbing all the bees’ hardwork in few minutes and yet worse, adulterating the purest output of those poor honey bee colonies.

Let’s be careful in identifying pure honey from adulterated honey using several tests and ensure its quality before consuming ourselves or feeding it to children.

Adulterants – water, table sugar, sweetening agents, high fructose corn syrup

  1. Spices

This is a favorite topic when it comes to food adulteration in India. Adulterated spices in India affect all economic classes of people in India. Originally implemented by Traders who did it for gaining extra revenue, Adulteration in Spices is now epidemic even among the farmers community. Adulteration happens across the entire food chain from farming to production to storing to packaging.

Consuming adulterated spices will lead us to short-term and long-term ailments like nausea, vomiting, ulcer, cancer, blurred vision, infertility etc.

Spices Adulterants

  • Turmeric powder – “Metanil Yellow’ dye, corn flour, saw dust, lead chromate
  • Pepper – Papaya Seeds
  • Chilli powder – Brick Powder
  • Asafoetida – Soap Stone
  • Saffron – Maize Cob
  • Cinnamon – Cassia Bark
  • Mustard Seed – Argemone Seed
  • Many more…
  1. Ice creams

What we refer to Ice Creams in general are all not truly Ice Creams. True. Trust me! In a tropical country like India, Ice Creams have become one of the favorite foods and part of their everyday routine. In India, Amul ice cream brand is most famous and widely consumed Ice cream which owns whole manufacturer to retailer line of business. There are many other Ice Cream vendors sell something in the name of Ice Creams.

They sell technically frozen food items that are typically contaminated with the following adulterants – pepperonil, ethylacetate,butraldehyde, emil acetate, nitrate, washing powder etc.

  1. Food grains and flour

Staple foods like Rice and Wheat are the major food crops in India. Rice and Wheat are consumed in various formats. The powdered rice and wheat is usually adulterated with starch. Rice is being adulterated with small ‘grains of stones’ to increase the overall weight per quintal by unscrupulous retailers. Rice, Wheat, Maize, Jawar, Barley, Channa etc. are being contaminated with Dust, pebble, Stone, Straw,weed seeds, damaged grain, weevilled grain, insects, hair and excreta of rodents.

  1. Coffee powder

Indians consume Coffee and Tea as refreshment beverages during several occasions a day. Coffee seeds are mixed with so many other adulterants before it comes as strongly flavored packing.

Coffee Adulterants include husks, sticks, corn, cocoa seed, barley, wheat middling, chicory, brown sugar, maltodextrins, glucose syrups, soybean, triticale and acai seeds.

  1. Tomato Sauces

Fast food culture has introduced us modern Chinese, continental dishes and snacks. Tomato Sauces go well with fried rice, samosa, chat items, sausages and Manchurian dishes.

Adulterants of Tomato Sauces include Pumpkin pulp’, ‘sugar’, ‘non-edible colours and flavours that are highly carcinogenic.

  1. Tea Leaves

Tea is the most preferred refreshment beverage in Indian families. There are people who simply can’t begin and end their days without having a cup of strong tea. Some like tea with milk, some like it without milk, with lemon, without sugar etc. Drinking actual tea leaves does bring lot of excitement and energy to souls to lead tasks. Due to climatic conditions, poor economic wages, greed, lack of government regulations, consumer rights and profit motive, Tea is also getting adulterated.

Tea Adulterants are Bismark Brown, Potassium Blue, Turmeric, Indigo, Plumbago etc. to impart some favourite color or glossiness. Prussian Blue is a toxic substance that is used to color tea.

  1. Vegetable Oils

Mustard Seeds are adulterated with Argemone Seeds and Papaya seeds to add volume and weight. Consuming edible oils from such adulterated oil crops will lead to diseases like glaucoma. Often we hear reports of using petroleum bye-products in edible oils can help us imagine the level of adulteration in this highly priced and much needed food product.

  1. Sweetening Agents

Sugar is derived from Sugarcane, palm trees, coconut trees for getting us sweetening agents. Without sugar or sweetener agents, we couldn’t have tried and tasted many interesting food recipes.

Adulteration in sugar leads to kidney failure, weakening of bones, abnormal weight gain, food poison, cancer and other diseases.

Adulterants in Sugar include Chalk powder, Washing soda, White sand, Plastic, crystals, Urea, White/ Yellow color, Insects, Rawa/ Suji, Stones, Metanil yellow,

Bacterial and fungal contamination.

Let us be very careful in procuring and consuming food products and save our health.

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