Food adulteration is caused by the addition of preservatives or unnecessary additives to food products in order to make them appear more appealing or last longer on store shelves. So, let’s get into the nitty gritty of food adulteration.
What is Food Adulteration?
Food adulteration, according to the definition, is the act or method of deliberately or willingly lowering the quality of food products sold for sale, either by adding or substituting inferior substances or by removing a desirable ingredient to extend the shelf life or make it seem more attractive to the prospective buyer. In other words, food adulteration or food adulteration may be characterised as the pollution or adulteration of food or food products by the addition of harmful substances or the removal of valuable substances.
What are Adulterants?
Adulterants are compounds or chemicals that, when applied to a food item, reduce the consistency and nutritional value of the food item. Adulterants degrade food’s natural consistency. Any food object, in any shape or amount, may contain the adulterant. Adulterants are not only toxic, but they also decrease the potency of food. Even though an adulterant is not harmful, it decreases the nutritious content of the food item significantly. When exposed to certain adulterants for an extended period of time, they are classified as carcinogenic or deadly. Different forms of adulterants may be found in various foods.
When is Food Considered Adulterated?
When a chemical that degrades the consistency of food is applied to it in order to make it more physically appealing or protect it, it becomes harmful or has a lower nutritional value. Adulteration of food also occurs when cheaper or lower-quality substances are used as a substitute for whole and high-quality ingredients, or when a constituent of food is partially or completely removed, lowering the quality of the food, or when it is made presentable with harmful substances, or when something, in general, is added to or subtracted from the food, lowering the quality of the food.
What are the Types of Food Adulteration?
There are four distinct forms of food adulteration, which are as follows:
Packing Hazard – The packing material used to package the food can contaminate the food’s ingredients and cause it to deteriorate, posing a packing hazard.
Intentional Adulteration – Where similar-looking ingredients are intentionally applied to a food commodity in order to maximise its weight or quantity and benefit. Dilatation of milk with water, addition of sand or pebbles to pulses, and so on.
Metallic Adulteration – The deliberate or unintentional inclusion of metallic elements to food, such as lead or mercury, is referred to as metallic adulteration.
Incidental Adulteration – It is described as residues of pesticides or hazardous fertilisers, the presence of rodent droppings, larvae development, and other factors that occur as a result of carelessness when handling food.