An important part of the Indian cuisine are spices and condiments. Spices and condiments like turmeric, cumin, black pepper and coriander powder are used across the country to add flavour to different dishes and to season them.
India produces a variety of spices and it is a must in every Indian kitchen. Every now and then, allegations and claims concerned to adulteration are reported across the country and it is no hidden thing. This increases the risk of consuming low quality adulterated spices. Most of the adulterants are unhealthy and can cause serious and fatal damage to our system if consumed regularly. Adulteration usually refers to the mixing of inferior and sometimes harmful quality substances. As a result of adulteration, impurities grow. Adulteration can be either intentional or unintentional. Intentional adulteration is usually attributed to removing vital substances or altering the existing natural properties. The lure of riches and general apathy towards mankind leads to Intentional adulteration. Whereas, unintentional adulteration is usually attributed to ignorance, carelessness, or lack of facilities for maintaining food quality. Incidental contamination during the period of growth, harvesting, storage, processing, transport and distribution errors are also considered.
Below mentioned are the primary attributes concerned to adulteration following studies carried out by various noted organisations:
The kitchen of every household in India operates on spices and condiments. Whether it be essentials like turmeric, asafoetida, chilli powder and cumin seeds or saffron, which is used in small amounts to add aroma and colour to a dish, the quality of ingredients and their purity is an important fact that cannot be overlooked. There are different ways to check if a spice has been adulterated. Come, let us further take a quick look over it:
Other steps taken to steer clear of adulterated spices, following research, studies, and guidelines issued by multiple noted organisations includes not buying loose spices and always checking for Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) certification.