HEALTH HAZARDS WITH ADULTERATED SPICES: SAVE THE “ONION TEARS”
Keywords:food adulteration, food safety laws and regulations, public perception of adulteration, adulteration practices, possible health outcomes of adulteration
Spices are among the top five most commonly adulterated food types because they are expensive commodities that are processed before sale, used most frequently and consumed by mass population. There is a strong incentive to pollute. In Bangladesh, different types of grounded spices powders are available such as onion, ginger, coriander, chili, turmeric, and cumin. These powdered spices are commercially processed and packaged by some leading food industries, while some local non-branded industries also exist. Nowadays, people are busy with their carriers, the demand of branded spices powder is increasing gradually. In general, most of the people tend to buy loose spices from the local grocery store if branded and packaged spices are not available. This increases the risk of consuming adulterated spices. Unlike this particular adulterant is not unhealthy (but illegal), most of the adulterants are unhealthy and can cause serious and fatal damage to our system if consumed regularly. The escalating market of this product implies that in Bangladesh, this tradition is increasingly attaining momentum. Spices are consumed in various forms such as whole spices, ground spices, oleoresins, and extracts. Spices play an important role in enhancing the flavor and taste of processed foods. They are also used in medicine because of their carminative stimulating and digestive properties. Ground spices may be adulterated with artificial colors, starch, chalk powder, etc., to increase their weight and enhance appearance. High value ground spices are frequently adulterated for economic gains. Adulteration is difficult to identify by visual and sensory inputs alone. Although there are few renowned food industries, peoples are always suspicious about these products. However, there are still not enough investigations for the quality check of all these branded powdered products.
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