The adulteration of food happens to remain a serious challenge for most of the societies today. Despite of various penalties and measures the problem still continues to occur and threat us. Food adulteration basically is an action of mixing or adding poor quality, harmful, inferior, useless, unnecessary or substandard items to foods. The spoiling of the condition and natural quality of food is known to be food adulteration. There are various kinds of food adulteration which involves;
Oils like vegetable or salad oil has been a major contribution in formulation of food products. But they are often adulterated and mixed with cheap oil. It has become a common practice for middle men and unscrupulous traders to mix palm or cheap oil with vegetable or rice bran oil. Also, since olive is vastly used in salad dressing, it is commonly adulterated by low grade or extra-virgin olive oil. Besides this, canola oil mixture with olive oil leads to chemically coloured, deodorised and flavoured oil, making it appear “extra-virgin”.
The adulteration of milk is the most common form of adulteration in our country. It is generally diluted and mixed with water, which leads to the loss of its nutritional properties, ensuring health issues for the people. Besides water, other types of liquids like starch, soya milk, wheat flour, ground nut milk are shamelessly added to the milk. This results in quick contamination of it.
Food grains adulteration
This kind of adulteration in essential commodities is affecting our people at large. Certain examples of such food adulteration are;
- Tea that is adulterated by processed, coloured and used leaves which leads to liver disorder.
- Coffee powder adulterated by tamarind seed, chicory or date seed powder, which leads to Diarrhoea, giddiness, stomach disorder or joint pain.
- Khoa adulterated by less fat and starch content leaving you with less nutrition.
- Wheat and bajra along with various other food grains, mixed with ergot which is poisonous.
- Sugar diluted with chalk powder leading to stomach disorder
- Mustard powder adulterated with argemone seeds leaving you with glaucoma and epidemic dropsy.
- Chilli powder adulterated with saw dust, brick powder, and artificial colours resulting in cancer.
- Asafoetida mixed with colophony resin, foreign galbanum resin resulting in dysentery.
Initiatives taken by government
Initiatives like The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954, Food safety and standards act, (FSSAI), have been acting responsibly to provide citizens with safe, unadulterated, wholesome and pure food. The acts have been amended to empower the citizens further by making the punishments all the more stringent, whereas if anyone found guilty would be put behind bars for seven years and a fine of Rs 10 lakh. The act has increased punishment for intimidating, obstructing, threatening and impersonating food safety officers.
Protecting consumer’s health and rights along with preventing wrong practices and fraud is the primary goal for food industry. Manufacturers must curb food adulteration completely and also companies should confirm and provide food authenticity and its source along with its components.