India is a country where it is common to hear of stories of food adulteration everyday, from milk meant for consumption by innocent kids being mixed with harmful adulterants, to world famous Indian spices being adulterated with toxic chemicals.
At such a time, the country’s food regulator FSSAI has released a manual for quick detection of adulterants in everyday food items. The book “Detect Adulteration with Rapid Test (DART)” lists 41 easy tests that can be done at home. With tests for items ranging from milk and milk products to food grains and spices, the book aims to create awareness about food safety.
So let us take you through some easy steps of detection of adulterants in your staple food which you can do at home.
Detection of artificial colours in Food Stuff
- Common adulterant Malachite green in green peas can be detected when you soak them in water, the green colour separates out.
- Rub a piece of cotton soaked in vegetable oil on surfaces of vegetables like ladies finger, green chillies and sweet potatoes, the colour will come out on the cotton.
- The bright yellow colour of lead chromate in whole turmeric will come out when you soak it in water.
Detection of adulteration in Coffee powder
Add coffee powder to water and stir. If coffee powder is adulterated, you can see clay and chicory moving to the bottom and settling.
Detection of adulteration in common food stuff
- When you refrigerate coconut oil for 30 minutes, it will freeze; if there is an adulterant, it will remain as a seperate layer on top.
- To detect the presence of detergent in milk, just add water to it an shake it up, if adulterated with detergents, the solution will form a lather on top.
- Cut a piece of potato and sprinkle salt on it. Wait for a minute and add two drops of lemon juice to it. If it is iodised salt, blue colour will develop.
So you can try these simple steps at home and check for yourself if the food you think is safe for you and your family is indeed safe or not. foodnetindia welcomes these steps from the food regulator and also urges it to introduce more strict regulation to stop the common blatant widespread adulteration of food in India.