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Adulteration in Different Flours, Suji And Sugar

Table of Contents:
  • Adulterants of wheat flour
  • Lathyrus sativus flour
  • Metanil yellow
  • Arhar daal
  • Reason For Adulteration
  • Test method for Lathyrus sativus in gram flour
  • Test method for metanil yellow in gram flour
  • Adulterants
  • Standards confirmed for semolina
  • Adulterants
  • Common Adulterants of Sugar
  • Chalk powder
  • Various insoluble substances
  • Urea
  • Common Adulterants of Flour
  • Boric acid
  • Excess Bran
  • Reference


“Food adulteration is the process in which the quality of food is lowered either by the addition of inferior quality material or by extraction of valuable ingredient.”

Adulteration means the addition of ingredients which are not permitted in food. They are added because of business profit only. Adulterated foods are harmful for human health as they contain the unauthorized food ingredients. Adulteration in foods also decreases our moral and social value. The flours are adulterated by many toxic substances or by other cheap flours to increase the quantity that will in the end benefits the seller.

Adulteration in Wheat Flour

The flours are adulterated by many toxic substances or by other cheap flours to increase the quantity that will in the end benefits the seller.

Adulterants of Wheat Flour

The common adulterants used in wheat four are as follows:

  • Corn flour
  • Rye flour
  • Stannous chloride and potassium carbonate are added to flour cake to give it the color as it is made from good flour and honey
  • Alum as Flour bleaching agent is a food additive added to flour in order to cover up traces of bad flour, make it appear whiter.
  • This is used by bakers to make the bread white when bad or cheap flour is being used, and to oxidize the surfaces of the flour grains.
  • Chalk powder, plaster of Paris, burnt bones, potato flour, maize and rice flour.
  • Sorghum and oats
  • By mixing wheat flour in water, chalk powder settles down.
  • The chapattis or rotis prepared from adulterated wheat flour tastes insipid

Adulteration in Gram Flour

There are two adulterants used in gram flour:

Lathyrus sativus flour

Metanil yellow


  1. Lathyrus sativus flour

It is commonly known as khesari flour is mixed with gram flours an adulterant.

Lathyrus sativus contains a toxic alkaloid- β-oxalyl-L-α,β-diaminopropionic acid (ODAP) that is responsible for lathyrism

Lathyrism is a nervous disease that cripples man throughout his life. This disease is known to result from an excessive consumption of the Khesari flour (Lathyrussativus) which is a hard crop with wild growth and drought resistance and is cheaper than other conventional pulses.

  1. Metanil yellow

It is the Toxic non-permitted food color used extensively in Asian countries as food color. It disturb Central Nervous system and can also cause Paralysis

  1. Arhardaal

It is commonly used as adulterant in gram flour especially in Bengal.

Reasons For Adulteration:

To increase the brightness of gram flour for look like a better quality.

Test method for Lathyrussativusin gram flour

  • Add 50 ml of 10% diluted Hydrochloric acid to 10 grams of gram flour.
  • And keep on simmering water about 15 minutes.
  • If pink color developed that’s indicates the presence of khesari flour in gram flour.

Test method for metanil yellow in gram flour

  1. Take half teaspoon of  besan in test tube.
  2. Pour 3 ml of alcohol in the test tube.
  3. Mix up the contents thoroughly up by shaking the test tube.
  4. Add 10 drops of hydrochloric acid in it.
  5. Appearance of pink color in gram flour indicates the presence of metanil yellow adulteration.

Adulteration in SUJI

Semolina is the purified white middling of durum flour. White middling is actually the product of wheat milling process that is not the flour.

  • Insects
  • Iron fillings ( by passing magnet, iron fillings can be checked in suji
  • Soft wheat
Standards confirmed for semolina

Following are some standard that should be confirmed for semolina:

  • Should be creamy in color
  • Moisture – Not more than 14.5 percent
  • Total ash – Not more than 1.0 percent (on dry weight basis).
  • Ash insoluble in dilute HCl – Not more than 0.1 percent (on dry weight basis).
  • Gluten (on dry weight basis). – Not less than 6.0 per cent
  • Alcoholic acidity (with 90 per cent alcohol) expressed as H2SO4 (on dry weight basis) – Not more than 0.18 per cent

Adulteration of Sugar and Flour

  • Adulteration

Food adulteration is the process in which the quality of food is lowered either by the addition of inferior quality material or by extraction of valuable ingredient. A food item is said to be adulterated if: A substance which is added is injurious for human consumption.


Food adulteration is the process in which the quality of food is lowered either by the addition of inferior quality material or by extraction of valuable ingredient. It not only includes the intentional addition or substitution of the substances but biological and chemical contamination during the period of growth, storage, processing, transport and distribution of the food products, is also responsible for the lowering or degradation of the quality of food products.

In the past few decades’ adulteration of food has become one of the most serious problems. Consumption of adulterated food causes diseases like cancer, asthma, ulcer, etc. Majority of adulterants used by the shopkeepers are cheap substitutes which are easily available.

  • Adulterants 

Adulterants are those substances which are used for making the food products unsafe for human consumption.

Adverse Effect of Food Adulteration

Adulteration poses several health hazards which include health diseases, weakening of the immune system and lots more. Here are some more harmful effects:

 Chronic health problems: There are many mineral oils which when added to the food items can result in paralysis, cancer etc. If pregnant women eat such food items, it might lead to abortion or even damage the brain of the baby. Sometimes zinc substances result in vomiting or in severe cases it can result in diarrhea

Impurity in the food: As adulteration alters the composition of the food item, it increases the impurities thus making them imperfect for the consumption.

Lack of nutritional value: Ready-made food is made using poor quality ingredients which not only brings down the nutritional content but can have a change in taste as well if kept for a long time.

Adulteration in Sugar

 A sweet crystalline or powdered substance, white when pure, consisting of sucrose obtained mainly from sugarcane and sugar beets and used in many foods, drinks, and medicines to improve their taste. Also, called table sugar.

Common Adulterants of Sugar

  • Chalk powder
  • Washing soda
  • White sand
  • Plastic crystals
  • Urea
  • White/ Yellow color
  • Insects
  • Rawa/ Suji
  • Stones
  • Metanil yellow
  • Bacterial, fungal contamination
  • Chalk Powder

Chalk is a soft fine-grained white sedimentary rock consisting of nearly pure calcium carbonate, containing minute fossil fragments of marine organisms, usually without a cementing material. It is use as adulterant in sugar to increase its weight, to improve its color, etc.

Side Effects On Human

In one sense, the main ingredients of this dust are non-toxic, which simply means they do not pose a threat when ingested. In another sense, this material can and does accumulate in the human respiratory system, which means it can create long-term health problems due to overexposure. In short, swallowing a piece of white chalk won’t kill a person, but breathing in the dust for a number of years can create or trigger respiratory problems. It can also cause stomach disorder. Calcium carbonate accumulation causes a kidney stones. Dietary calcium binds with oxalate in the gut and also in the urine, thus forming a compound that cannot be absorbed. If your dietary intake of calcium is low, this allows more free oxalate to be absorbed in the gut and excreted via the urine. For those who form calcium oxalate kidney stones, reducing dietary calcium would therefore increase stone risk.

Washing powder cause diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.Adulteration in Different Flours, Suji And Sugar

Detection of Chalk Powder/ Washing Powder

  1. Dissolve 10 gm ofsample in a glass of water, allow settling, Chalk will settle down at the bottom
  2. To small amount of sugar in a test-tube, add few drops of HCL. Brisk effervescence of CO2 shows the presence of chalk powder or washing soda in the given sample.

CaCO3 + 2 HCl ———-> CaCl2 + H2O + CO2
Na2CO3 + 2 HCl ——> 2 NaCl + H2O + CO2

Various insoluble substances

Adulteration of various insoluble Substances in sugar can cause serious problems as it can cause kidney stones.


Take small amount of sugar in a test-tube and shake it with little water. Pure sugar dissolves in water. But insoluble impurities do not dissolve.

  • Urea

Urea is a white crystalline powder with a cooling saline taste. Urea occurs naturally in mammals and is an excretory end-product of amino acid metabolism.  Urea is formed in the liver.

Uremia – kidney failure – causes a buildup of urea in the blood as the kidney eliminates urea from the blood into the bladder. The specific effects of Urea on cell metabolism are probably numerous as the symptoms: anorexia and lethargy, and late symptoms can include decreased mental acuity and coma. Other symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, cold, bone pain, itch, shortness of breath, and seizures.

Detection: On dissolving in water, it gives a smell of ammonia.

Adulteration in Different Flours, Suji And SugarFigure 2 Common adulterants in Sugar


Adulteration of Flour

All purpose flour is made from hard or soft wheat flour and is a blend of various types of wheat grains having different protein strengths, and is also generally enriched with vitamins and minerals.

  • Common Adulterants of Flour

    • Sand
    • Soil
    • Boric acid
    • Excess bran
    • Chalk powder
    • Excreta
  • Boric acid

Boric Acid is a weakly acidic hydrate of boric oxide with mild antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral properties. Boric acid is an inorganic acid which is mainly available as white odorless powder in crystalline form. It dissolves easily in water. The exact mechanism of action of boric acid is unknown; generally cytotoxic to all cells. It is used in the treatment of yeast infections and cold sores.

Side Effects of Boric AcidAdulteration in Different Flours, Suji And Sugar

People who have eaten boric acid have had nausea, vomiting, stomach aches, and diarrheaDiarrhea and vomit may have a blue-green color. Eating extreme amounts has resulted in a red, “boiled lobster” like skin rash, muscle contraction followed by skin loss. People who breathed in borax had a dry mouth, nose, and throat.


Take a small amount of sample in a test tube, add some water and shake. Add a few drop of HCL. dip a turemic paper strip if it turns red, boric acid is present.

  • Excess Bran

Bran, also known as miller’s bran, is the hard outer layers of cereal grain. It consists of the combined aleurone and pericarp.

Along with germ, it is an integral part of whole grains, and is often produced as a byproduct of milling in the production of refined grains. When bran is removed from grains, the grains lose a portion of their nutritional value. Bran is present in and may be in any cereal grain, including rice, corn (maize), wheat, oats, barley, rye and millet. Bran is not the same as chaff, coarser scaly material surrounding the grain but not forming part of the grain itself.

Side Effects of Bran

  • Cramping- Cramping occurs because the body cannot properly break down fiber. If too much fiber is consumed, food digestion can be momentarily slowed or even stopped. This can lead to intestinal cramping and discomfort.
  • Diarrhea-If you increase your fiber intake too suddenly, then your body will not have enough time to adjust. One of the biggest benefits of fiber is that it increases the speed in which food moves throughout the digestive tract. By consuming too much fiber, you may increase this speed too much, which can lead to diarrhea.
  • Malabsorption– By eating too much fiber, you may interfere with how your intestines absorb certain minerals. Often, too much fiber can lead to the malabsorption of calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Despite this side effect, this malabsorption is typically so minimal that it does not cause for much concern.
  • Constipation-If you eat too much fiber without enough water, then you may become constipated. The body’s digestive tract requires fluids to help move things along. If you do not have enough fluids in your system, then your intestines will not be able to work properly and you may become constipated.
  • Intestinal-Gas By eating too much fiber in a short amount of time, you may experience flatulence, bloating and intestinal gas. This occurs as a reaction the natural bacteria in your digestive tract has to the fiber. To avoid this side effect, simply gradually increase your fiber intake so the natural bacteria can adjust to the fiber.
  • Intestinal Blockage– An intestinal blockage would be the worst side effect you could get from consuming too much fiber. This occurs when an individual eats too much fiber and does not consume enough water. Fiber can cause a blockage in the intestines, preventing any other foods to get past. Intestinal blockages can be serious health conditions and may require surgery.


Sprinkle on water surface. Bran will float on the surface.

  • https://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090118002211AAomCua
  • https://www.inchem.org/documents/jecfa/jecmono/v32je16.htm
  • https://deaddictioncentres.in/indian-drug-guide/brown-sugar/Detection from Sweetening Agents:
  • https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/cons-products/food/there-are-more-problems-with-bread-than-just-carcinogenic-elements-focus-should-be-on-quality-of-wheat/articleshow/52473638.
  • https://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/health/5-ways-to-tell-you-need-a-rest-day.html
  • Http://Npic.Orst.Edu/Factsheets/Boricgen.html

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Mixheibe March 5, 2020 - 12:53 pm

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ramboVen October 31, 2020 - 11:41 pm

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