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Report on Food Adulteration in India

Food adulteration which is rampant and dangerously spreading, is emerging as a dangerous threat to the society as a whole. The practice of Food adulteratation is done with the lust to increase the quantity and make more profit. In this process, the food is deprived of its nutrients and the even place where the food is cultivated/prepared is often contaminated. For eg: Milk is mixed with water , For ghee, Vanaspati is used as an adulterant , ergot is mixed in cereals , chalk-powder is mixed as an adulterant for flour , coffee has chicory As adulterant, papaya seeds are mixed in pepper , brick-powder is adulterant in chilli powder , tamarind seed powder is the adulterant in coffee , wood powder is mixed in turmeric and dhaniya powder. What is Adulteration?

An adulterant is a chemical substance which should not be contained within other substances (e.g. food, beverages, and fuels) for legal or other reasons. The addition of adulterants is called adulteration.” This word is appropriate only when the added things are unwanted/harmful to the recipient. Else, they are called as food additives. When adulterants are used in illicit drugs, they are called cutting agents, whereas the deliberate addition of toxic adulterants to food or other products for human consumption is termed as poisoning. Research Methodology:

In this project we have looked at various reports and case studies available publicly and gathered secondary data from various sources. This has helped us analyze the situation of food adulteration with a wider perspective. Findings:

In a research paper published by Online Journal of Health and Allied Sciences, it was discovered that the instance of food adulteration is the highest in rural areas due to ignorance of customers and illiteracy. The customers generally do check the weight and MRP, but rarely check for adulterants and other ingredients. This practice is rampant in rural areas. It was found out that edibles like cloves, supari, tea, chillies etc were the most adulterated products. This adulteration is mainly done by the shopkeepers intentionally to increase the weight of the product and/or improve the appearance of the products. The adulterants added were mostly cheaply and easily available. There have been numerous other cases of food adulteration which have come to light. For example in 2008 Coke and Pepsi, the world’s two leading soft drink makers landed into trouble after a study by an NGO called Centre for Science and Environment. This study concluded that these soft drinks had lethal toxins like DDT, Lindane etc mixed in them, this lead to a global backlash against Coke and Pepsi. CSE discovered that Pepsi contained 36 times the permissible levels of pesticides and Coke contained 30 times. Another case is just before Diwali the demand for sweets is very high. As the manufacturers cannot cope up with the increased demand, resort to food adulteration to make a quick buck. During this time rampant food adulteration is witnessed in products like milk, cheese, khoya, ghee, and oil and wheat flour. Example in 2012 just before Diwali, PFA officials took a sample of 51 sweets from Ludhiana and Chandigarh. Out of these at least 8 were found unsafe and 2 were completely unfit for human consumption. This shows the level of adulteration, which is going on unchecked and is playing with the health of people. The health minister in 2011 admitted that the average food adulteration is around 11% in India, which is a very high number, considering this is a very critical issue, pertaining to people’s health. It has also been seen that the maximum number of food adulteration cases are seen in Uttar Pradesh. Just recently in 2012a study was conducted by FSSAI across 33 states in India, which yielded horrifying results. It showed that milk in India is adulterated with detergent, fat and even urea besides water. In the study a random sample of milk from 1791 places was taken which were...
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