We are very choosy when it comes to our fruits and vegetables. As it was a get-together party at home, I went market with mom to help her out for buying fresh vegetables. As mom was busy in searching right size of a pumpkin, I was silently looking around and was observing the market.
I saw many people moving towards a hand cart, whose owner was claiming that he has the sweetest watermelons. He offered some pieces to kids standing near to his cart. They found it very delicious and asked their parents to buy it for them. The people happily started paying him and buying melons from him. The melons were looking extremely fresh, I tasted it and it was unnaturally sweet.
This kind of sweetness can be provided with saccharin injections. With that sweetness, melons were too red. It was having a bright red color that was sufficient to catch the attention of people. I told the vendor that these melons have something wrong with it. He denied and said as these melons are handpicked and homegrown, you might not have tasted it ever before. So this is not a wrong taste but it is a better taste.
At that time, I didn’t have any proof to prove my point right but now I want to make all of you aware of adulteration of food products. We buy them with an intention to eat healthily but what if they are already adulterated. They can make more harm than doing good.
What makes us pick those adulterated things:
Nobody picks a tomato with dents, lemon or bananas with black patches. We get naturally attracted to the red and shining apples, beautiful orange or red carrots, or the absolute green spinach and ladyfingers. It gives us a feeling of happy fruits and though we always select them keeping the safe ones on the down.
Things that are most prone to adulteration are raw fruits and vegetables, Milk, tomato sauces, Spices, Ice-cream, food grains, coffee powder, tea leaves, Honey vegetable oil and ghee.
How to check adulteration in these items that we buy regularly:
Fruits and vegetables:
Just scratch the peel of fruits or vegetables with a spoon, if you see a white substance at the end of the spoon that means the fruit or vegetable has a coating of wax. This coating of wax also prevents the natural odor of vegetable so you can not smell its aroma without cutting them.
A very well known method to remove this wax from the fruits and vegetable is as follows:
Make a paste of baking soda and white vinegar, apply this paste on fruits and vegetables.
Rinse it and dip them in hot water for few minutes. You can feel that wax when you takes out your vegetables and fruits from hot water.
Removing wax by providing indirect heat to your food products is a good and easy solution.Commonly waxed fruits and vegetables include cucumbers, bell peppers, eggplant, potatoes, apples, lemons, and oranges.
It is easy to remove wax but what can you do if whole the vegetable or fruit is adulterated from outside as well as inside. A vibrant red color of melon showed injectable dye in watermelon but it can also be found in peas, brinjal or capsicums.These dyes are Sudan dyes which are used for coloring plastic materials and are getting used as coloring agents in food items.There is no way other than not buying such a product. No fruit that is grown naturally look the same. It has to be in its unique shape, taste can be same but color cannot be.
Have you ever wondered that why all the monsters in cartoons or animated series are made of green color? The malachite green must be the reason. It is the real evil that goes silently inside your body and causes several diseases. This makes the vegetables looks fresh and green even on the next day so as to increase sales.
Pick the fruits with black patches:
Even if you are not able to find a layer of wax on mango or bananas, the possibility of adulteration is highest in these dearest fruits. The most loved fruits look shiny and without any patch when they are being ripened unnaturally by calcium carbide. It is a type of compound used in crackers and bombs. While you go out for buying these fruits, always go for those that have natural brown and black patches.
Milk is considered as the most important part of a kid’s meal.A glass of adulterated milk can cause serious health diseases. No-one wants such adulteration in milk that is an elixir for our nation.The most common things are urea, starch, and water.
To check urea:
Take a teaspoon of milk and add ½ teaspoon of soybean or arhar powder. Mix up the contents thoroughly. After 5 minutes, dip a red litmus paper in it. Remove the paper after ½ a minute. A change in color from red to blue indicates the presence of urea in the milk.
To check water:
Milk sellers gain profit by adding water to milk.Water does not harm us but we are paying the cost of milk and not of water so to check its presence put a drop of milk on a slant and polished surface. The pure milk will leave a white trail behind it and will flow slowly. But a drop that has water quantity more than milk will take the drop down immediately without leaving any mark on the surface.
To check starch:
Iodine solution is easily available on all the medical store. Take a part of milk and add few drops of iodine solution or tincture iodine. Formation of blue color will indicate starch in milk.
The main adulterant is washing powder. It is very easy to detect the presence of washing powder. Take a spoon full of your favorite ice cream and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice. The acidic nature of lemon juice will create bubbles if the ice cream has washing powder used in it.
Sugar and Salt:
Chalk increases weight when mixed with sugar or salt.There is another easy test of just dissolving sugar/salt in a glass of water. The chalk will settle down.