PAU detects widespread use of toxic adultrants in food items

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Moga, Dec 4 (UNI) A recent study of Punjab Agricultural University scienstists has found widespread use of adultrants in samples of jaggary, wheat flour, turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and black pepper in Ludhiana town alone and cautioned consumers to be vigilant as some of the adultrants could prove extremely toxic.

A team of PAU scientists from here as part of an awareness campaign today stressed that food adulteration in a kind of slow pisoning and it has become very common these days.

PAU scientists Neelam Malhotra and Inderjit Kaur of Department of family Resource Management observed that the adultrants to food items were added in a manner that it was impossible for a common consumer to detect or even suspect these.

While some minor adultration had always been present in food items, mingling unintentionally during packing, storing or transportion, mostly the dangerous kind are deliberately added by the producers and dealers to make quick profits.

''Such adultrants not only change the taste but also cause health hazards sometimes resulting in irreparable damage to the health of consumers'', Ms Malhotra said.

A study recently conducted by the scientists of PAU according to Neelam Malhotra and Inderjit Kaur indicate that maximum of adultrants are in jaggary, wheat flour, turmeric powder, chilli power corriander power and black pepper.

Nearly one-third samples of desi ghee were adultrated with vanaspati and argemone oil was mixed unscrupulously with mustard oil. Thus it was clear that most of Ludhiana residents were getting substandard food items harmful to their health, they said.

The PAU scientists suggested that consumers must always purchase food items from reputed shops and avoid buying loose food items especially spices, wheat flour, ghee and oil and always insist on items having "Agmark".

The PAU scientists also suggested to the State government to establish a monitoring system to streamline the usage of chemicals, pesticides by farmers.

The packing materials for processed food materials should be thorughly examined.

Food testing laboratories should be strengthened with trained manpower and adequate infrastructural facilities for proper implementation of food regulations.

UNI

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