December 13, 2022

Food adulteration

Adulteration of food is the process of adding unwanted substances to the food, with similar appearance/color for making profits which makes that food product fails to meet the legal standards. This act of spoiling the nature and quality of food items is considered food adulteration.

Adulterants are the substance or poor-quality products added to food items for economic and technical benefits. Addition of these adulterants reduces the value of nutrients in food and also contaminates the food, which is not fit for consumption.

Adulteration is very common today and the most adulterated food product is milk. Other common food items which are adulterated are tea/coffee, vegetables, sweets, wheat and other food grains, honey, spices, butter and cream, ice cream.

Food adulteration may be categorized into two separate groups, namely, incidental and intentional adulteration. Incidental adulteration occurs when adulterants are found in food due to negligence, ignorance or lack of proper facilities. For example, packaging hazards like larvae of insects, droppings, pesticide residues, etc.

Intentional adulteration involves the deliberate addition of inferior materials to a food to heighten appearance qualities and to gain greater profits.

The estimated economic loss of food due to adulteration is 30–40 billion dollars per year.
Food adulteration

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