Did you know that besan or gram flour that is one of the most common items to be found in almost every Indian household can lead to serious health hazards if consumed adulterated?
Well, according to Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), it is definitely a grave matter of concern to have such adulterated besan. This makes one prone to chances of getting sick.
FSSAI issued a note titled “Ensuring Safety of Pulses and Besan” in 2019 that revealed that besan adulteration can be done by mixing either khesari dal, or flours of maize, or yellow pea, rice, or artificial colours.
Lathyrism (a condition described as paralysis of lower body including numbness in limbs and spine) was the damaging outcome of khesari dal which is why it was banned in 1961. However, the ban was called off in 2016 by Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR).
Detection of Food Adulterants:
When paying extra attention to health has become essential in a post-pandemic world, it is of utmost importance that we take cognizance of the adulteration issue seriously and conduct the adulteration test to stay safe and avoid health risks.
So, the FSSAI came up with an easy way to test besan prior to consumption.
As per their note shared on Twitter on October 27, 2021, do the following experiment to find out if besan has the ingredient khesari dal in it:
- Put 1 gm of besan in a test tube.
- Pour 3 ml water in it to extract plant pigments into the solution.
- Pour HCL (2 ml concentration) into the solution.
- Nicely shake the mixture and let it stand.
- An unadulterated besan will show no change in colour. But the adulterated one will cause the mixture to turn pink. Metanil yellow undergoes reaction with HCL and becomes pink.