by The Welthi Bureau | 23 FEB 2018
Neha Gupta is a Registered Dietician, Certified Nutritionist and a Diabetes Educator with over 9 years of experience in food science. She has been a diet and lifestyle coach for health enthusiasts in India and abroad.
Adulteration is a social menace that highlights the failure to meet regulated standards or safetyparameter in food products. When added to spices, it sub dues the original flavour, texture andaroma of the product reducing its effectiveness to the cuisine. It is also associated withinnumerable health implications even when consumed in smaller doses. The primary reason foradulteration is given that, it provides a cost advantage to sellers however in the broaderspectrum causes serious damage to both public health and the country’s economy.Indian spices are renowned world over and form the star ingredient of many recipes as the flavor notes, color and aroma that these spices lend to one’s palette is unmatched. India is the largest producer of spices, with a large array of 75 varieties to boast of. The geographic conditions of India which encompass diverse soil and weather conditions combined with varying degrees of terrain allow for all these varieties to be home grown. These spices have not only put India on the global map but also contribute to a significant percentage of the income received from exports.
An alarming decline in the rate of exports in the spices sector has been observed and this is mainly due to the strict norms and quality compliances that these countries follow, which unfortunately India is failing to comply with due to adulteration. Adulteration of spices takes away the exquisiteness of the product and doesn’t do justice to the flavor profile which it could have otherwise lend to a dish. Prolonged consumption of spices that are adulterated also leads to health concerns as people can experience nausea, intestinal and digestive issues amongst many other problems.
There are many precautions people can take to ensure they aren’t a victim of adulterated food like making sure to buy spices only from a trusted vendor. To still be doubly sure, there are many easy tests that can be done at home to test if the spices have been adulterated. Usually,spices are adulterated by adding a component like brick powder to red chili powder to increasethe weight of it or by adding food coloring to haldi, which are cheaper alternatives. Spices are imperative to Indian cooking and form the base of innumerable recipes. They not only provide flavour but it is believed that they have lot of benefits like turmeric is said to be the best natural anti bacterial anti dote and is best known to keep infections at bay while powdered spices such as coriander and cumin aid digestion.
To sum up, adulteration really does take the spice out of life; it is unethical and an unlawful practice that is done only in lieu of more monetary gain and it cheats people of good quality. Food governing laws need to be more stringent from the root level as many of these spices are also laced with pesticides as the crops are doused with pesticides that are beyond permissible levels, this gets absorbed in the ground water which then continues to sustain in the soil and the vicious cycle goes on. Over and above that when adulterants are added to spices it can prove tobe extremely damaging and are a big reason for health concerns globally.
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