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article imageConcern over Indian food quality and imports

By Tim Sandle     Apr 22, 2016 in Health
This week has seen several alarming reports about the quality standards relating to food produced in India. These relates to salt content and import bans.
The incorrect labeling of food in relation to salt content has come from a survey conducted by the Indian Public Health Institute. The survey concludes that for two-thirds of the food examined, the salt content stated is wrong.
The finding came about following analysis of some 7,428 packaged foods. In some cases the salt content on the label did not match what was actually in the food; in other cases, basic nutritional information, including salt content, was missing entirely.
The matter is of concern to Dr. VivekJha, who carried out the study. Dr. VivekJha works at the George Institute India. He told the Facility for Food Safety: “In the west, hidden salt in packaged foods accounts for three-quarters of salt in the diet, and there has been a real push for better labeling.”
Illness and death associated with high sodium intake is a major problem with India and the rates correlate with an increase with sales and consumption of packaged foods. Processed foods are particularly popular with the burgeoning middle class.
Another food area of concern is with milk. A separate survey has revealed that around 68 percent of milk samples in Indian do not comply with national standards. According to a government report: “Adulterants like detergents, caustic soda, glucose, white paint and refined oil are being used in the commercial milk supply to provide thickness and preserve milk for longer periods.”
These adulterants, which affect both fresh and skimmed milk, have the potential to cause serious harm and even death. Dangerous detergents, unsuitable for human consumption, were found in 8 percent of milk samples.
There are also concerns about the quality of imported food products used to produce processed foods. Despite quality guidelines, some the materials being imported are substandard. Health Minister J P Nadda has recently added a further 250 substances to an import ban list. These will become an amendment to the Food Safety and Standards Act (2006.)
More about Indian food, Food, India, Imports, Milk
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