Spice in your food could be brick dust
HYDERABAD: At a time, when police are cracking down on food adulteration, nutritionists and doctors are pressing alarm bells on health hazards from toxic concoctions on your plate.
At least seven big rackets were busted in last three months in Hyderabad and citizens are being told to be careful about what they buy from the open market.
Police officials who busted adulteration rings say gang members operate from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, where food adulteration is rampant. It’s just not milk or cooking oil, prized spices too are heavily adulterated, according to officials of National Institute of Nutrition.
“Many times, papaya seeds are grounded and mixed with synthetic gum to make it seem like black-pepper.This happens as pepper is costly and mixing them with papaya seeds makes it cheaper for miscreants,” Dr V Sudarshan Rao, a scientist from the Food Safety Division of NIN, told TOI.
Following black pepper, the next most adulterated food item is fennel, which is mixed with sodium hydrosulphite. “This is then blended with sawdust and brick dust and sold in the market as masala powder,” said an official from Nutrition Society of India.
Not just food meant for daily consumption, even cold drinks and ice-creams are mixed with high quantities of glycerol monostearate, an emulsifying agent, which is meant to be used in moderate amounts as prescribed by Food Standards and Safety Authority of India (FSSAI).