Food Adulteration can be defined as the practice of adulterating food or contamination of food materials by adding a few substances, which are collectively called adulterants. Adulterants are the substance or poor quality products added to food items for economic and technical benefits. The addition of these adulterants reduces the value of nutrients in food and also contaminates the food, which is not fit for consumption.
Why is Food Adulteration Done?
The main reasons for adulterating food products:
- Practiced as a part of the business strategy.
- An imitation of some other food substance.
- Lack of knowledge of proper food consumption.
- To increase the quantity of food production and sales.
- Increased food demand for a rapidly growing population.
- To make maximum profit from food items by fewer investments.
Methods of Food Adulteration:
There are several methods of Adulteration:
- Mixing: Mixing of clay, stones, pebbles, sand, marble chips, etc.
- Substitution: Cheaper and inferior substances being replaced wholly or partially with good ones.
- Concealing quality: Trying to hide the food standard. E.G. adding captions of qualitative food to low quality for selling.
- Decomposed food: Mainly in fruits and vegetables. Mixing decomposed with good ones
- Misbranding: Includes duplicate foodstuffs, changing of manufacture, and expiry dates.
- Addition of toxicants: adding non-edible substances like argemone in mustard oil, low-quality preservatives, coloring agents, etc.
Effects of Food Adulteration
Food adulteration has a great impact on our health. Consuming such food increases the toxicity in the body. As the nutritional value of the adulterated food goes down, such food is not anymore nutritive for the body. The addition of chemical adulterants and colors many times prove to be fatal. As they pose on the onset of health risks and also carcinogens. Some adulterated food may also affect our internal organs directly leading to heart, kidney, and liver disorders and failure.