2018, VOL. 4 ISSUE 2, PART B
The addition of chemicals, coal tar dyes, brick dust, formalin, urea, sand etc. into the food through the malpractice of adulteration is turning the food into a poison. In this case awareness regarding adulteration, common adulterants and government regulations and acts of female homemakers who are generally responsible for buying food for the family can play a very important role.
In the present study 100 female homemakers residing in Chandigarh were selected through convenient sampling and surveyed. 20 female homemakers were randomly selected from 100 surveyed female homemakers and 5 food samples (wheat flour, oil, turmeric, salt and milk) were collected from each of those 20.The food samples were tested by using standard tests provided by FSSAI.
The findings of the study revealed that though the literate female homemakers knew about the adulteration of food items and its harmful effects on health but they had poor knowledge regarding the common adulterants of food items. All the respondents used to detect the adulteration by their senses like visual inspection, touching and tasting and no one used the tests provided by FSSAI. Only 1% respondents knew about the tests provided by FSSAI to detect adulteration. 87% respondents knew whom to complain against adulteration but only 19% among them had complained. They used to complain the seller and not to consumer forum or FSSAI. 80% respondents knew that there are government regulations and acts in India to prevent adulteration but 75% among them did not know the name of particular regulation or act. Among the food samples collected from the households of 20 female homemakers, adulteration was present in milk, turmeric, salt and oil and not in wheat flour. Water was present in 100% samples and starch in 45% milk samples. Artificial colors and chalk powder or yellow soap stone powder were present in 100% samples of turmeric and colored saw dust was present in 90% samples. 70% salt samples were adulterated with chalk and Iodine was not present in 30% salt samples. Argemone oil was used as adulterant in 85% of the oil samples. Thus the present study concluded that literate female homemakers residing in the area of Chandigarh have low awareness about the adulteration, common adulterants in food items and government laws and acts to curb the adulteration and most of the food samples collected from the households of 20 literate female homemakers were adulterated. Government, Panchayats and Public authorities should create awareness about quality standards, danger of consuming adulterated foods, consumer rights etc. through campaigns and national awareness programmes, so that homemakers can buy foodstuffs with proper diligence and discretion.