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10 out of 13 honey brands fail ‘purity test’, finds CSE investigation

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The investigation additionally uncovered that Indian corporations within the enterprise of honey had been importing artificial sugar syrups from China for adulterating with honey.

Honey marketed by outstanding brands failed a key check of purity, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) has claimed, citing an investigation it carried out on varied brands of Indian honey.

Current laws specify round 18 parameters that honey should adjust to for producers to label it ‘pure honey.’

CSE meals researchers chosen 13 brands of uncooked and processed honey, together with Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath and Zandu, and subjected them to exams which can be required underneath nationwide meals regulatory legal guidelines to be labelled as honey.

Most of the brands handed muster however when subjected to 1 check, known as Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR, that may verify the composition of a product on the molecular stage) that was completed at a lab in Germany, solely three brands (spanning six samples) handed: Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar (one pattern of two). There had been typically a number of samples examined for every model.

The NMR check will not be required by Indian regulation for honey that’s being marketed domestically however is required for export.

“What we found was shocking” stated Amit Khurana, programme director of CSE’s Food Safety and Toxins staff. “It shows how the business of adulteration has evolved so that it can pass the stipulated tests in India…We found that sugar syrups are so designed that they can go undetected.”

‘No adulteration’

Dabur Honey in an announcement denied that its honey was adulterated with sugar syrup. The firm furnished a July 20 report from a German firm, Bruker, that’s listed as a producer of NMR imaging product, and carried out a check of Dabur’s honey composition profile. That report, which The Hindu perused, says there was no proof of sugar syrup. “Dabur is the only company in India to have an NMR testing equipment in our own laboratory, and the same is used to regularly test our honey being sold in the Indian market. This is to ensure that Dabur Honey is 100% pure without any adulteration,” the accompanying assertion famous.

The CSE investigation additionally stated some Indian corporations within the honey enterprise had been importing artificial sugar syrups from China to adulterate honey.

Sunita Narain, Director General, CSE stated, “We are consuming honey, more of it to fight the pandemic. But honey adulterated with sugar will not make us well.”

These syrups, stated Ms. Narain, had been succesful of passing off as honey, even as much as half of which had been blended with sugar, as ‘pure honey’. Among the exams employed as per Indian laws is one to test whether or not the honey is adulterated with C4 sugar (cane sugar) or C3 sugar (rice sugar). Most samples cleared these exams however failed one other check known as the Trace Marker for Rice check, to check for rice syrup adulteration.

Three corporations’ samples despatched by CSE to the German testing laboratory — Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar—handed the NMR check. CSE didn’t disclose which German lab examined their merchandise. Ms. Narain added that NMR exams, whereas with the ability to detect components, weren’t capable of detect the amount of adulteration.

As half of the investigation, CSE traced a manufacturing unit in Jaspur, Uttarakhand that manufactured a sugar syrup to adulterate honey – all cross honey, because the product is domestically identified – and located that when blended with honey that CSE’s staff sourced from apiaries, was capable of cross Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) exams for honey purity.

Several of these syrups, stated Ms. Narain, had been marketed on portals like Alibaba, promoting fructose syrup that would bypass regulatory exams. CSE additionally couldn’t say if the sugar syrup they’d sourced from China was utilized in any of the Indian brands examined.

Adulteration of honey is a worldwide downside with a number of international locations, together with India, devising laws and new exams to test it. The newest iteration of a draft regulation got here into impact this July however offers corporations till subsequent yr to be totally compliant. Adulteration additionally destroyed the livelihoods of bee-keepers who discovered it unprofitable to make pure honey as a result of sugar-syrup honey was typically obtainable at half the worth, in response to CSE.

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