Flour Adulteration

Daily we are uses so many types of flours.
  • Wheat flour
  • Semolina 
  • Multigrain flour
  • Gram flour
  • Fine flour
  • Rye flour
or products that have formulated by these flours. 
Adulteration of Flour & Flour products
These flours may be adulterated with toxic substances or other cheap flours or other material that can increase quantity to  monetary beneficial for seller. 

Adulterant of Flour: 

  • Inferior grade flour - Corn meal in wheat flour, wheat flour in rye flour.
  • Copper sulfate also may be added to improve the appearance.
  • Stannous chlorid and potassium carbonate are added to flour cake to give the same color to the product made of molasses and a poor grade  of flour as that made  from good flour and  honey.
  • Alum as Flour bleaching agent is a food additive added to flour in order to cover up traces of bad flour, make it appear whiter (freshly milled flour has a yellowish tint),by bakers to make the bread white when a bad or cheap flour is being used, and to oxidize the surfaces of the flour grains and help with developing of gluten.

Detection of Toxic Lathyrus sativus flour in Gram flour: 

Genuine Product: Gram Flour (Besan)

Adulterant: Lathyrus sativus flour (Khesari flour)

Lathyrus   sativus  is   native  of  southern  Europe  and  Asia. Lathyrus sativus conations a toxic alkaloid-  β-oxalyl-L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (ODAP, also known as β-N-oxalyl-amino-L-alanine, or BOAA), is responsible for lathyrism, a nervous disease that cripples man throughout his life.   This  disease is known  to result  from  an excessive  consumption   of the Khesari  flour (Lathyrus  sativus)  which  is a  hard  crop  with  wild  growth  and  drought  resistance   and is cheaper  than  other conventional   pulses.  Similarity   in appearance   with Bengal gram dal and Tur (Arhar)  dal has prompted  its use as an adulterant.  It is a very common adulterant in Bengal gram flour (Besan flour). Though  the existence  of the disease  has been  known  for a long time, no effective  steps have  been  undertaken  to control  it effectively.

Reason of Adulteration: Monetary benefit 

Test Method:
·         Add 50 ml of 10% diluted Hydrochloric acid to 10 grams of gram flour.
·         And keep on simmering water about 15 minutes.
·         If pink color developed that’s indicates the presence of khesari flour in gram flour.

Health Effect: Lathyrism

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Adulterant: Metanil yellow-
Metanil yellow is the Toxic non-permitted food color used extensively in Asian countries as food color.

Genuine Product: Gram flour without metanil yellow.

Health effect of Metanil yellow:
·         Disturb Central Nervous system.
·         Paralysis

Reason for adulteration: To increase the brightness of gram flour for look like a better quality.

Test Method:
1.    Title
Detection of Metanil yellow in Gram flour (besan)
2.       Principle
Color development                                   
3.    Reagents
  • Alcohol
  • Hydrochloric acid
4.     Apparatus
4.1.        Test tube
4.2.        Pipette.

5.     Procedure
·         Take half teaspoon of besan in test tube.
·         Pour 3 ml of alcohol in the test tube.
·         Mix up the contents thoroughly up by shaking the test tube.
·         Add 10 drops of hydrochloric acid in it.
·         Appearance of pink color in gram flour indicates the presence of metanil yellow adulteration.

6.    Calculation-

7.     Reference/Protocol
·         FSSAI Manual on adulteration, Part – 2.

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