The purity of edible oil is one of a grave concern for a long time. Adulteration is generally a blending of other materials of cheap quality with the pure oil. This makes them look and smell similar to the pure oil but the quality is totally unfit for human consumption. These cheap quality materials are quite harmful for health point of view. As an outcome of adulteration, the edible oil becomes contaminated and unacceptable for human utilization.
Adulterations sometimes happen either by chance or they are done deliberately for profit making. Accidental is a consequence of ignorance, lack of information or facilities while extracting or processing the oil, improper or erroneous oil handling and packing procedures may also cause the adulteration.
The most common form of intentional adulteration is Argemone seeds or oil. The Argemone seeds have close resemblance with mustard seeds due to this reasons, mustard seeds are often adulterated with Argemone which is pale yellow in colour and is almost tasteless. These are often mixed as an adulteration with mustard seeds or oil.
Adulteration in edible oil cheat the consumer and can pose serious risk to health in some cases.
The consumption of adulteration mustard oil can lead to food poisoning, intestinal infections, and stomach- related illness. It also affects all organs as well and by using it for a long time it increases the risk of lever deterioration and children’s development stops.
Consuming mustard oil adulterated with argemone oil for a short span can cause a medical condition known as epidemic dropsy. Argemone oil causes oxidative stress and death of red blood cells and contamination poses a serious threat to human health.
We, at Nirmal Industries, as ,manufacturers of variety of edible oils, feel important and responsible to make aware our customers and viewers of adulteration in edible oils and how to check it using home methods.
How to detect adulteration in mustard oil at home.
Performing a laboratory test can definitely test the oil for adulteration. It can even assess and measure the amount of impurities in the oil. But if you wish to test mustard at your home, then you do not require any equipment, machine or heavy technical knowledge. The easiest way out is to get acquainted with the smell of mustard oil and fell its effect on the nasal passage. Dip some mustard seeds in water for sometime and then paste of it. Put a little of this paste on your tongue. Close your mouth and breathe in and out through your nostrils. Your nasal passages will sense the pungency of the buoyant substances present in the paste and you will experience the typical pungent smell. By doing it a few number of times, you will easily get familiar with the actual odour of the mustard oil.
Now to check the genuineness of the mustard oil, you just have to put a little amount of it on the back of your hand and then smell it. If the smell is not very pungent, the oil is perhaps thinned with low quality oil like sunflower oil.
Another thing is to inspect the color of the mustard oil. Other oils are comparatively lighter in shade than the pure mustard oil. Mustard oil color is dark golden brown.
If your nose senses any old smell other the pungency, commonly a ‘chemical’ smell, then it is very much possible that the oil is adulterated with other cheap oils which look like mustard oil but are never used for the purpose of cooking e.g. cotton seed for Argemone oil.
Another simple way is to take a smell quantity of mustard oil in a crystal clear glass and put in a few drops of nitric acid to it. Shake it vigorously. Now heat it for two to three minutes. If a red colour appears, then this shows that Argemone Oil is present in the oil.
Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, is the interest of public service, has released a guide book about ‘Safe & Nutritions food at home’. This book can be freely downloaded and printed at http://foodsmart.fssai.gov.in/PinkBook.pdf
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