Pulses form a major portion of the Indian diet. They are the main source of protein in case of vegetarian diet. However, they are adulterated intentionally or unintentionally. Adulterants such as stones and pebbles in pulses may be incidental or intentional adulteration. An intentional adulteration in pulses is mixing kesari dal in arhar dal since kesari dal is cheap and looks similar. Pulses are also adulterated with colouring matter. Synthetic dyes such as Metanil Yellow are used to make pulses look brighter which are injurious to health.
Besan, the flour of Bengal Gram, is a popular ingredient in many culinary dishes in india. Because of its’ high price, it is sometimes adulterated with flours of maize, yellow pea, rice, kesari dal, etc. Synthetic colour such as Metanil Yellow is added to besan to enhance colour. Some colours are carcinogenic and may cause stomach disorders. This document will increase consumers’ awareness about safety about safety of pulses/besan and serve as a guide to ensure that the pulses/besan we buy are not adulterated.
Pulses are one of the major food items in the Indian diet. They play an important role in fulfilling the protein requirement of vegetarians. Pulses and besan are often adulterated by colouring with dyes. Whole and Split Pulses may be adulterated with Dhatura seeds, Chakunda beans etc. Pulses may get contaminated with Ergot, which is a fungus containing poisonous substance. The most dangerous adulteration in pulses is mixing kesari (Lathyrus sativus) in arhar since kesari is cheap and looks similar. Sale of Kesari is banned as per the provision in Food Safety and Standards Regulations. Kesari is a hard crop with wild growth and drought resistance and is cheaper than other conventional pulses. Sand, marble chips, stones are some of the unintentional and intentional adulterants in pulses. Synthetic dyes such as Metanil yellow are used by unscrupulous traders to colour pulses to make them look bright.
Besan, the flour of Bengal gram (Cicer arietinum Linn), is a popular ingredient in many culinary dishes in India. It has a high demand, which is why besan flour is often adulterated with flours of kesari, maize, rice or yellow pea (Pisum sativum) by unscrupulous traders.
Adulteration is primarily intended for economic gains. Inferior quality pulses are coloured with non-permitted dyes to make them look superior. Many a times, pulses are adulterated with pebbles, stones, weed seeds, weevilled grains etc.
Besan, is a popular ingredient of many culinary dishes in India. However, due to its comparatively high price, it is often adulterated with flours of kesari, rice, yellow pea, maize, etc. by unscrupulous traders for economic gains.
Artificially coloured pulses or besan and those adulterated with kesari lead to serious health risks for the consumers. Consumption of adulterated pulses and besan for prolonged periods may result in cancer, neurological diseases, ulcer, degeneration of reproductive organs, sterility, stomach troubles, etc.
Adulteration in pulses and its products can be checked at home by using simple test methods (Test Methods attached):
Adulteration in pulses and its products including besan can be checked at home by using simple test methods listed in Detect Adulteration with Rapid Test (DART) booklet prepared by FSSAI. This booklet is a compilation of common quick tests for detection of food adulterants at house hold level by citizens themselves.
Standards of pulses are notified in the Sub Regulation 18.104.22.168 of Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives), Regulations, 2011. These standards apply to whole, shelled (de-husked) and split variants of 12 types of pulses, namely; Lentil (Masur), Black gram (Urd), Green gram (Moong), Bengal gram (Chana or Chick pea) or Kabuli chana or Chhole or (green chick pea) hara chana, Red gram (Arhar), Horse gram (Kulthi), Field bean (Black, Brown, White), Peas dry (Matra), Soybean, Rajmah or Double beans or Broad beans or Black beans, Lobia or black eyed beans or black eyed white lobia, Moth bean (matki). Limit of moisture, extraneous matter, defects, uric acid, etc. are important parameters in the standards.
Standard for Besan is prescribed under Sub Regulation 2.4.4 of Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives), Regulations, 2011. The Sub Regulation “2.2.1: Restriction on use of certain ingredient relating to Kesari da1” of Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales), Regulations, 2011 prohibits sale of Kesari dal (Lathyrus sativus) and its products.
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|Guidance Note--Pulses and Besan|
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