CERS finds 12 asafoetida brands below the mark

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Ahmedabad, Oct 29 (UNI) City-based Consumer Education and Research Society (CERS), which tested 17 brands of compounded asafoetida in various forms, has found that twelve of them were not up to the mark.

The CERS, in a release here today, said that the compounded asafoetida was tested against seven main parameters -- alcoholic extract, moisture content, labelling, rodent contamination, total ash, acid insoluble ash and foreign odour.

The Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act requires at least five per cent (by mass) of alcoholic extract (raw hing) in compounded asafoetida. Nine of the 17 brands tested failed to meet the requirements of minimum pungency.

As per Agmark specifications, the moisture content in ''hing'' should not exceed 12 per cent of the mass, according to the release.

Three brands failed on this count.

The total ash test is carried out to find out the presence of inorganic matter in the product such as minerals and silica, the release said. A high value of acid insoluble ash suggests the presence of sand, dust, dirt, stones, and such others.

Some brands showed rodent contamination, foreign odour, and fungus and insect attack. Some brands weighed less than the labelled weight. One of the brands was found providing inadequate labelling information.

The report of the test has been published in the CERS magazine ''Insight'' of September-October 2007 issue.

UNI

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