FOOD ADULTERATION IN INDIA

BY – TEJASVI BHATT MHA 3rdSEMESTER (BATCH 2016)

(THE PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION ACT, 1954)

Sub- (Nutrition, Dietics and Drug Management)

FOOD ADULTERATION

 

INTRODUCTION

In our daily life there are so many unhygienic and contaminated things for our health. Most of our things our contaminated. Even the food, which we eat, is adulterated. Now a question arises that what is adulteration?

Adulteration is a legal term used to describe the procedure of –Mixing something impure with something genuine, or an inferior article with a superior one of the same kind. Adulteration usually refers to deliberate mixing of other matter of an inferior and sometimes harmful quality with food or drink   intendedtobesold. As a result of adulteration, food or drink becomes impure and unfit for human consumption.

The adulteration of food means the addition of something that isn’t a part of food, the substance, which lowers or degrades the quality of food material, is called an adulterant e.g., a chemical named melamine resembled milk protein closely enough that the milk was able to pass inspection, yet it also proved to be toxic, causing a number of deaths. Adding sawdust to ground meat would be another example. . Adulteration brings a lot of easy money for the traders, but it may spoil many lives. Food adulteration can lead to slow poisoning and various kinds of diseases, which can even result in death. Adulteration makes the food items used in our daily life unsafe and unhygienic for use. The traders use it for their economic benefit without thinking about its effect on the common population of our country, which consumes it. For preventing it our government has made some certain commissions and laws. Still it prevails in our country on large scale.

TYPES OF FOOD ADULTERATION

In India, the most common type of food adulterations is of following types:

  1. Milk: It is adulterated by the addition of water, starch, skim milk powder and removal of cream.
  2. Ghee: It is adulterated with vanaspati and animal fats such as pig’s fat. In order to improve the flavor of adulterated ghee tributyrin is added.
  3. Cereals: Rice and wheat are mixed with stones sand grit and mud to increase the bulk.
  4. Flour- Wheat flour is mixed with soapstone and Bengal gram flour is adulterated with Kesari dal or lathyrus flour.
  5. Pulses- They are adulterated with Kesari Dal stones are added to pulses such as mott urad, and masoor. Toxic chemical such as metanil yellow are added to old stocks of pulses to improve their colour appearance.
  6. Edible Oil-They are mixed with cheaper oil, toxic oil (e.g. argemone oil) and mineral oil.
  7. Honey-It is adulterated with sugar and jaggery.

PROCEDURE FOR DETECTION THE ADULTERATION IN THE FOOD ITEMS

Adulteration in the food material can be detected in the following ways.

  1. Vanaspti in Ghee- Took one tea spoon full of liquid ghee. Added equal quantity of conc. HCl shook this mixture in a test tube. Now added a pinch of common sugar. Shook it well for about one minute and then allowed it to stand for 5 minute and observed the result.
  2. Water in milk sample- Put a drop of sample milk on a plain slide. Tilt the slide and observed the result.
  3. Agremone oil in edible oil-Took some amount of edible oil in a test tube. Pour 3-4 drops of conc. nitric acid. Shook it well and observed the result.
  4. Metanil yellow in Dal- Take 5 Gms of sample. Add 5ml of water and a few drops of dil. HCl and observed the result.

REASONS FOR FOOD ADULTERATION

Temptations for quick and easy gain without any investment.

ADVERSE EFFECTS OF ADULTERATION OF FOOD

There is no denial to the fact that adulteration is definitely not good. It poses a number of health hazards which include health diseases, weakens the immune system and lots more. Here are some more harmful effects that you might not be aware of, they are as follows-

-Leads to chronic health problems: There are many mineral oils which when added to the food items can result in paralysis, cancer etc. If pregnant women eat such food items it might lead to abortion or even damage the brain of the baby. Sometimes zinc substances result in vomiting or in severe cases it can result in diarrhea. Food colors that are added to the items can be the reason of liver damage, allergies and lot more.

-Increases the impurity in the food:  As adulteration alters the composition of the food item, it increases the impurities thus making them imperfect for the consumption

Lack of nutritional value: Ready-made food is made using poor quality ingredients which not only brings down the nutritional content but can have a change in taste as well if kept for a long time. So you compromise with the taste as well as your health.
Thus, it is very wrong to adulterate food items. There can be a number of reasons of adulteration like the wrong packaging, use of insecticides or pesticides on the food, use of preservatives and lots more.

Examples– water in milk; brick powder in chili; powder corn syrup in honey coconut; or palm oil in olive oil; yellow dye or sandalwood in saffron and in turmeric powder orange

THE FOUR BASIC TYPES OF FOOD ADULTERATION ARE

  • milk adulteration
  • grain adulteration
  • adulteration of oil and fats other adulteration

When it comes to food adulteration no other country can beat India, because this is a country where everyone has unlimited freedom to indulge in such activities with no possibility of retribution. Though food laws that exist are available in India but still violation of laws occur in a wide scale by food adulteration in different ingredients.

In India Prevention of Food adulteration program has been developed to ensure safe food for consumers. The ministry of health and family welfare in India ensures that consumer get safe food. The legislation called “prevention of food adulteration act, 1954” was drafted for this purpose. The first law to regulate the quality of food was made in the country 1899. Up till 1954 the states made their own food laws and there were substantial differences in the rules and specification of food. A legislation called prevention of food adulteration act (PFA) was endorsed in the year 1954 for making uniformity in food laws all over India. It came into effect from 15 June 1955. The major role of central government is as an advisory in its implementation.

In India there are three-tier system is function for ensuring food quality and food safety. They are the:

  1. Government of India
  2. State Government
  3. Local Bodies

A central committee for Food Standards consisting of representatives of Central and State Governments to advice on matters of the administration of Act.

A central food laboratory to which food samples can be referred to, for final opinion in disputed cases. Adulteration of food stuff was so rampant, widespread and persistent that nothing sort of a somewhat drastic remedy in the form of a comprehensive legislation became the need of the hour to check this kind of anti social evil a concerted and determined on slaught was launched by the government by introduction of the PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION BILL in the parliament to herald an era of much needed hope of consumers at large adulteration of food stuffs and other goods is now included in the concurrent list in the constitution if India. The bill replaces all local food adulteration laws where they exist and also applies to those states where there are no local laws on the subject of food adulteration. Among others, it provides for:

  • THE PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION (AMENDEMENT) ACT, 1986
  • THE PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION (AMENDEMENT) ACT, 1976
  • THE PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION (AMENDEMENT) ACT, 1971
  • THE PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION (AMENDEMENT) ACT, 1964

So, finally the PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION ACT, 1954, the bill was passed by both the houses of Parliament and received assent of the President on 29th September, 1954. It came into force on 1st June 1955 as THE PREVENTION OF FOOD ADULTERATION ACT, 1954.

In this act we saw the following standards set up as:

  • The AGMARK Standard set up by the Directorate of Marketing and Inspection of the Government of India by introducing an Agricultural Produce Act in 1937.The word “AGMARK” seal ensures quality and purity.
  • S.I. Standards Various committees, including representatives from the government, consumers and industry, formulate the Indian Standards Institution (ISI).Standards are laid for fruit products, spices and condiments, animal products and processed foods. The products are checked for quality by the ISI in their own network of testing laboratories at Delhi, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras, Chandigarh and Patna and public and private labs recognized by them.
  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). It is an autonomous body established under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006 which is a consolidating statute related to food safety and regulation and supervision of food safety. Any edible object that has been launched in the market and has to be marketed can only be produced and sold once it has successfully passed all the FSSAI standards.

CONCLUSION

It is duty of common man like us to be aware of items that are adulterated and strictly condemn there use as it directly has adverse effects on human health. This will discourage the rate of adulteration and hence we can put an effort to stop or decrease food adulteration.