The desi-ghee adulterators in Punjab can’t go scot-free since the State Government with an investment of crores of rupees has now equipped the Food Safety labs at Kharar and Mohali with high-tech GC Machines, informed KS Pannu, Commissioner Food Safety Punjab.
Pannu said that recent large scale seizures of Fatty Acid Ester in Punjab along with the artificial flavor of Desi Ghee, had made the Food Safety officials suspicious of its misuse in preparing adulterated Desi Ghee, but the previously existing laboratory equipments could not ensure the same. The earlier machines tested the Desi Ghee only on the basis of its RM value which improves with Fatty Acid Ester, whereby the adulterators were successful in hoodwinking the Food Safety Department.
Divulging into further details he informed Fatty Acid Ester, imported from East Asian Countries is mixed in Hydrogenated vegetable oils to improve their RM value. This material is then sold as Desi Ghee at the counters. The appearance and flavor of such adulterated hydrogenated oils is like original Desi Ghee and it is sold at almost half the price of Desi Ghee despite the fact that this material does not meet any of the parameters of Desi Ghee. Many manufacturers of such “Desi Ghee” are also labeling this material as “Lite ghee” or “Pooja ghee” in very small letters to misguide the public and Food Safety officials.
To counter this adulteration mechanism, State government procured the relevant machines on priority, said he and warned of strict action against those indulging in the practice of manufacturing and sale of such material.
Pannu said that in the days to come, the department shall keep a close watch on such products selling as Desi Ghee and will also not hesitate to close down such units. He warned shopkeepers not to store or sell such adulterated materials as they could also be held accountable under the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006.