Detect Adulteration with Rapid Test (DART), a manual containing quick tests for the detection of food adulterants at the household level, was recently released by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The purpose of the manual is to show the common techniques available for the detection of food adulterants generally found at the household level.
Often FSSAI conducts testing of foods for different types of food adulteration, chemical and other microbiological contaminants and other safety parameters. Such food testing is done by the apex regulator through a network of laboratories notified by it. These food tests require sophisticated equipment and trained personnel to carry out the testing procedures.
However, there are some common adulterants and contaminants that consumers can test easily by themselves. This manual is a compilation of such tests for detecting such adulteration as artificial or toxic colours and extraneous material deliberately or otherwise added to the food. The book contains tests for adulteration in milk and milk products, oils and fats, sugars and confectionery, food grains and their products and spices and condiments, amongst others.
Sagar Anand Kurade, immediate past president, All India Food Processors Association (AIFPA), and managing director, Suman Projects Consultants Pvt Ltd, said, “The book helps to focus on the health and hygiene aspects.”
Awareness among consumers
“FSSAI is making an effort to create awareness among consumers about what is right and what is wrong when it comes to the food they eat. The consumers are empowered to understand and know more about what is healthy and hygienic,” he added.
Kurade said, “The book provides simple guidance, which is not helpful only to consumers, but, in a way, to the government and industry as well. It is the consumers’ right to have unadulterated food, not only outside, but also at home.”
Prabodh Halde, president, Association of Food Scientists and Technologists India (AFSTI), said, “This is an excellent initiative of FSSAI and the most useful kit for consumers to know how to check adulteration at home. We appreciate the leadership of Pawan Kumar Agarwal (the regulator’s chief executive officer), for these innovative steps for consumer benefits and much more such initiatives.”
The manual carries 40 user-friendly tests describing and covering various foods. The tests are described in a language that is easy to understand, and photographs showing the visual representation of both adulterated and unadulterated food samples.
Compiled by experts at FSSAI and scientists from ITC Life Sciences and Technology Centre, Bengaluru, the regulator hopes the citizens find the manual helpful. The feedback form at the end of the book, where consumers can give their suggestions and feedback, will further improve the existing list.
Source: FnB News