When we talk about Indian cuisine, it is all about the assortment of spices used. It provides a wonderful aroma and flavour to the food. However, adulteration of spices is very common these days which is a great matter of concern especially in loosely sold spices. Mixing of lower grade materials in powdered condiments is very easy and one will never be able to know it.
One of the most common spices in Indian kitchen is turmeric which is commonly used as a flavouring agent. Turmeric is referred as an Ayurvedic medicine due to its various importance in immunity boosting and healing wounds. Turmeric powder is obtained by grinding of dry turmeric finger. Turmeric powder can easily be adulterated by adding synthetic colour dyes such as Sudan I & Sudan II as they are cheap and easy to obtain. As a matter of fact, it is quite difficult to differentiate between real and fake turmeric by just having a visual check.
Below are some ways by how we can check the purity of turmeric:
Presence of Metanil yellow:
In order to identify the authenticity of original turmeric, add a few drops of concentrated hydrochloric acid and water in a test tube of turmeric. Shake it well and observe the colour whether it changes or not. If the mixture changes to pink then it is confirmed that it had metanil yellow which can result in food poisoning.
Presence for chalk powder:
Add some water and few drops of hydrochloric acid in a test tube filled with turmeric powder. Observe if it gives off bubbles and if it does then it sure that it contains yellow soap powder or chalk powder or both.
To Spotting adulterated turmeric finger:
It is surprising to see that not just turmeric powder but also turmeric finger are adulterated with unwanted substances to look it shiny and appealing. To test the fingers of turmeric, you can add water and observe if it leaves any colour.
Go for the water test:
One of easiest and the best way to look for turmeric powder adulteration is to have water test. Take a glass of water and add some turmeric at the surface. Leave the glass for around 20-30 minutes without stirring. If the turmeric settles at the bottom of the glass then you can conclude that the turmeric is pure and if not then it is absolutely adulterated.
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