Food is the basic necessity of life. The quality and safety aspects of food are paramount significance, but the major problem we face is Food Adulteration. Adulteration is deßned as the process by which quality or the nature of a given substance is reduced through
a. The addition of a foreign or an inferior substance
b. The removal of a vital element.
The word adulterated implies on element of deceit. It means mixing the food with something inferior or spurious.
Adulterant is defined as any material which is employed or which could be employed for the purpose of adulteration.
Foods may be adulterated either intentional or incidental at all stages from production to selling.
a. Intentional Adulteration
b. Incidental adulteration
Adulterant is added knowingly to increase profit. This type of adulteration includes intentional addition, substitution or addition or removal of substances which adversely affects the quality of food. Eg. Sand, marble chips, Earth and other filth.
Incidental contamination is due to ignorance, negligence or lack of proper facilities. Eg. Toxic metals, presence of bacterial and fungal contaminants.
There are two methods to detect food adulterants. They are
a. Physical tests
b. Laboratory chemical test
It is conducted by observation or visual examination using our senses like taste, smell, and vision and also using lactometer.
Swaminathan.M has devised an instructional manual to detect food adulterant harmful effects on health is given below.