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Beware of adulterated jaggery, cautions DHO

Health Dept had recently sealed a unit preparing spurious gur

Beware of adulterated jaggery, cautions DHO

With winters almost here, the demand of gur spikes as it helps to keep oneself warm. file photo



Manav Mander

Tribune News Service

Ludhiana, November 12

Festival season is on and it is the time when the demand of sweets peaks. Sadly, this is also the time when maximum adulteration of food items takes place. Jaggery popularly known as ‘gur’ in local language is consumed during auspicious occasions or festivals.

With winters almost here, the demand of gur spikes as it helps to keep oneself warm in the cold weather.

Recently, the Health Department sealed a firm dealing in manufacturing of jaggery. Not even a single drop of sugarcane was used in its preparation. It was being prepared from the old jaggery mixing it with sugar and colour.

District Health Officer (DHO) Dr Rajesh Garg, “People need to be careful and cautious before buying eatables these days. We sealed a firm dealing in manufacturing of jaggery and they were making it from old jaggery,” said.

Kanika Sharma, a city resident, said there is a lot of adulteration in food items during diwali. “I prefer buying jaggery over sugar due to its health benefits. I always check it by smelling and eating a little piece so that I do not buy the adulterated stock,” she said.


How to check adulteration

  • Chalk powder: Dissolve a small piece of jaggery in water. If adulterated, the chalk will start settling down in water.
  • Yellow colour: Ideally the colour of jaggery should be brown or dark brown. If it is yellow, that means artificial colour or some chemical has been added.
  • Take 1/4 teaspoon of jaggery in a test tube. Add 3 ml of alcohol and shake the tube. Pour 10 drops of hydrochloric acid in it. A pink colouration indicates presence of yellow colour in jaggery.

Check before you buy

  • Prefer buying hard jaggery.
  • Do taste a piece of jaggery before eating. It should not taste even slightly salty and if it does, that means it contains high concentration of mineral salts.
  • If it tastes bitter that means it has gone through the process of caramelisation during boiling.
  • Presence of crystals of jaggery means it has gone through a process to make it sweet.

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