The Prevention of Adulterants in Food

When shopping for your family, you may not expect food to be tainted with additives, chemicals or other dangerous elements. This is precisely what food adulteration is. Some food producers do this to save costs and to increase the relative amount of product they can offer at the same time. Many of these adulterants are harmful or hold no nutritional value; thus, it is best that the consumer learn methods for their detection and identification.

  1. Pairing

    • One of the best thing you can do is to acquaint yourself with some of the consistent locations for different forms of adulteration or, in other words, the food sources in which specific contaminants are commonly found. For example; tea can be victim to adulteration ranging from dangerous foreign leaves to dyed sawdust, each of which is added to increase the aforementioned yield of product. Cooking oils may contain either rancid acid or tricresyl phosphate. Lead chromate is an adulterant located in some processed, ground spices, especially turmeric.

    Detection Kits

    • One sure-fire way to control food adulterants is to purchase a testing kit for your home, restaurant or other location. The downside of doing this without a kit is that you must procure laboratory chemicals to perform many of the diagnostics. Through purchasing one of these kits, you have the chemicals and tools needed to do the job immediately accessible. You can find some that test for specific adulterants like soya or pesticides as well.


    • Food Adulteration claims that water and starches are the two most common adulterants found in milk. Adulterated milk that is tainted with water loses a lot of its density and gravitational character. If you apply a droplet of the milk to a "polished vertical surface" and it quickly drips down without a trace--a trace that would be there if more milk solids were present--then that milk is watered down. Food Adulteration suggests you check for starch adulteration, by introducing a tincture of iodine to the product; a hint of blue verifies your suspicions.


    • Fruit adulteration is a phenomenon connected to jams, jellies and preserves in particular. Some adulterants such as alfalfa seed, timothy clover or pulp can be witnessed through the lens of an ordinary magnifying glass. For starch and glucose, the mixture must be diluted with water and often heated. Depending on which you look for, detection may call for the addition of potassium permanganate or simple alcohol. The relative processes call for slightly different steps.

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