In the Nigerian market, honey is retailed as a substitute for sugar which health enthusiasts confirm to be dangerous to the body. Honey is already being used as a preservative. However recent developments that associated massive adulteration with honey, heightens food safety concerns. Just in the year 2020, a report in India, confirmed the suspected a situation  capable of throwing the poor honey consuming  masses into palpable fear. Please read on

Top Indian honey brands fail adulteration test: CSE

As per a recent investigation by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), most of the major honey brands being sold in the Indian markets as pure have failed to pass the adulteration test in Germany. As per the study, all the top honey brands contain sugar syrup instead of the real honey. Out of the 13 brand samples, only three have passed the purity tests, and these are Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar (one out of two samples).
Honey samples from leading brands such as Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya, all failed the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) laboratory tests currently being used globally to check for modified sugar syrups, the CSE said.

For the study, CSE food researchers selected 13 top and smaller brands of processed and raw honey being sold in India. Samples of these brands were first tested at the Centre for Analysis and Learning in Livestock and Food (CALF) at the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in Gujarat.

Almost all the top brands (except Apis Himalaya) passed the tests of purity, while a few smaller brands failed the tests to detect C4 sugar – call it basic adulteration using cane sugar.

But when the same brands were tested using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), almost all big and small brands failed. Out of the 13 brands tested, only three passed the NMR test, which was conducted by a specialised laboratory in Germany.
“It is a food fraud more nefarious and more sophisticated than what we found in our 2003 and 2006 investigations into soft drinks; more damaging to our health than perhaps anything that we have found till now – keeping in mind the fact that we are still fighting against a killer Covid-19 pandemic with our backs to the wall,” said CSE Director General Sunita Narain. “This overuse of sugar in our diet will make it worse,” she added.

The samples were purchased during August-November 2020 from retail stores in Delhi and major online platforms.

More importantly, the study revealed that Indian standards for honey purity cannot detect the adulteration. This is because Chinese companies have designed sugar syrups to bypass these standards, the CSE said.

(With inputs from IANS)

02 Nov 2021

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