How safe is your honey? CSE findings reveal most top brands in India sell adulterated honey

Are you aware that the honey you consume, thinking it to be good for your health, can actually be harmful to your body? If not then read this report submitted by the environment watchdog, CSE.

Environment watchdog, the Centre for Science and Environment claimed on Wednesday, that honey sold by several major brands in India, have been found adulterated with sugar syrup.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) food researchers selected 13 top and smaller brands of processed and raw honey being sold in India, to check their purity.

After examining, the researchers found 77 per cent of the samples adulterated with the addition of sugar syrup. Out of the 22 samples checked, only five passed all the tests.

‘Honey samples from leading brands such as Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya, all failed the NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) test,’ the study said. However, no above mentioned companies have come out with their reply to these claims.

Samples of these brands were first tested at the Centre for Analysis and Learning in Livestock and Food (CALF) at the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in Gujarat.

According to the Centre for Science and Environment, almost all the top brands passed the tests of purity, while a few smaller brands failed the tests to detect C4 sugar.

‘But when the same brands were tested using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), laboratory tests currently being used globally to check for such modified sugar syrups, almost all big and small brands failed,’ said CSE as per PTI report.

CSE said its probe also reveals that the Indian standards for honey purity cannot detect the adulteration. The environment watchdog said that their primary concern was not just honey being adulterated, but that the adulteration was difficult to detect.

CSE director general Sunita Narain said they then conducted an undercover operation to find out more. 

‘Chinese companies informed CSE that even if 50-80 per cent of the honey is adulterated with syrup, it would pass all stipulated tests. A sample of the syrup that can bypass tests was then sent by the Chinese company as paint pigment to get through customs,’ she claimed as per PTI.

As of August 1, 2020, NMR tests have been made mandatory in India for honey that is meant for export. Over the past few years, FSSAI has revised norms for honey quality several times. 

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