Are The Spices In Your Pantry Safe For Consumption? Check With These Simple Tests


India is referred to as the land of spices and there’s no denying to it. We find an extensive range of spices across the country – each of which comes with unique flavour, aroma and a pool of health benefits. These herbs and spices are enriched with several essential nutrients and have been a part of traditional medical practice since centuries. That’s not all. Time and again, various scientific studies have also affirmed the traditional wisdom about the benefits of these spices. But did you know the spices in your pantry could be adulterated? Yes, you heard us. The packaged spices we get from the nearby grocery store often get contaminated with several impurities mixed to it (while packaging). Fret not, we found some common tests to check if the spices in your kitchen are safe for consumption. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) took to its social media platforms to share these simple tips. Let’s take a look.

Here Are 5 Simple Ways To Check If Your Spices Are Adulterated:

Detecting Adulteration In Cloves:

To find if the cloves (laung) you are using in your everyday cooking is safe for consumption, here’s a simple test you can conduct at home. Take a glass of water and put some cloves in it. The unadulterated cloves with settle down at the bottom of the glass, whereas the other ones will float on the surface of the water.

Detecting Adulteration In Black Pepper:

All you need to do is take a small quantity of black pepper and place it on a tabletop. Now, press or try to crush the black pepper with your finger or thumb. The unadulterated pepper will not break easily. But if the bunch is adulterated, you’ll be able to crush a few of them. The ones crushed will turn out to be light-hued blackberries that have been mixed with the black pepper.

Detecting Adulteration In Red Chilli Powder:

To check if the red chilli powder in your pantry is safe to consume, first take a glass of water. Then add a spoon of red chilli powder to it and examine the residue. If any grittiness is felt after rubbing the residue on your palm, then there’s brick powder/sand in it. And if you feel it to be soapy and smooth, then there’s soap stone in it.

Detecting Adulteration In Table Salt:

That’s right! Even the salt you are adding to your food could be contaminated. To detect the same, take a potato and cut it into two halves. Then apply the sample of the salts on the cut surfaces and wait for a minute. Add two drops of lemon juice on both the samples. If the salt is adulterated, the surface of the potato will turn blue in colour.

Detecting Adulteration In Sugar:

Just like salt, sugar could have impurities too. To find it, all you need to do is take a spoonful of sugar and mix it with a glass of water. Wait till the sugar completely dissolves. Then smell the prepared solution. If there is a strong smell of ammonia, then your sugar is adulterated with urea.

Distinguishing between pure spices and adulterated ones is very important. This not only helps us make a right choice for our daily diet, but also helps us keep up a good health.

About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.


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