Selection & Common Adulteration Of Spices

Selection of spices

Spices should be selected wisely as there are many chances of these being adulterated. If we are not careful, we will buy inferior quality spices for the money spent. Besides, adulterated spices can be harmful.
Adulteration is primarily intended for economic gains. However, it may lead to serious health risks for the public.
Consumption of adulterated spices can cause various diseases like skin allergies, a liver disorder etc. Due to high probability of adulteration in ground spices, FSSAI has banned the sale of ground spices in loose form.
Spices like turmeric and red chilli powder contain artificial colours which are extremely dangerous to our health. So while buying spices, take care of the following:
• Avoid buying ground spices. Buy them whole and get them ground yourself as far as possible. This will save you from purchasing adulterated spices.
• Avoid buying powdered spices sold loose.
• Spices should be free gravel, grit and dirt.
• Check the FSSAI licence number on the package label.
• They should be free from any moisture, fungus and bad colour.
• In case you have to buy spices in ground form, then buy packets which have ‘Agmark’ on them as these are of good quality.
• Always read the manufacturing date, manufacturer details, best before the date and other labelling declarations before buying spices.
• If packets with ‘Agmark’ are not available, buy packets with well-known brand names. Avoid buying them loose as they may be adulterated. Some of the adulterants are listed below:

Common Adulteration

Carcinogenic dyes, older stocks, dye, less expensive/low-quality spices, flour, corn starch, sawdust, etc. Consumption of adulterated spices for prolonged periods may result in stomach disorders, cancer, vomiting, diarrhea, ulcers, liver disorders, skin disorders, neurotoxicity, etc.

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