Food Adulteration in India

Posted by Trupti Shirole on Thu, Apr 21, 2011  
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With news of Health Departments raiding various places in Delhi and Chennai on two consecutive days it is quite evident that we are facing the danger of food adulteration on a large scale. Though it still has not been proved whether the seized samples are adulterated, food adulteration is a major public concern.


Samples that were seized from Chennai have been disposed off at dumping zones since they did not even have basic information like address of manufacturers, manufacturing and expiry date and batch number. It is the duty of civic bodies to keep a check on the sale of unhygienic roadside eateries but my question is what is the common man doing to deal with this problem?


People do not even check the manufacturing and expiry date before buying or consuming any product or even medicines. For our own safety is it not our duty also to at least check these basic things. Or are we going to wake up only when some health problem arises due to consumption of such substandard food products.


Roadside foods, ice-creams, candies, cold drinks are very tempting, especially in this scorching heat. But have given a second thought about where does this ice come from? Is it hygienic? Or is there a danger of catching some infection after having these items? The masses should be educated about the need for precautionary measures in water and food consumption during summer because contaminated water and food is the major reason for acute diarrheal diseases.


Coming back to dangers of food adulteration- very few know how dangerous it can be. I will elaborate it with few examples. The Delhi Health Department seized samples of turmeric power, black pepper and masoor dal. Let us have a look at these-


Turmeric- it is usually adulterated with yellow aniline dyes/ non-permitted coloring agents like metanil yellow/ tapioca starch. The first two adulterants are carcinogenic and tapioca starch can cause stomach disorders.

Black pepper- papaya seeds are the commonly used adulterant which can lead to stomach and liver problems.

Dal- it is usually adulterated with kesari dal which can cause cancer.


These are very few examples which prove how dangerous food adulteration can be.  Therefore we should notify the civic health bodies if we come across any such practices in the market.


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