High honey manufacturers adulterated with sugar syrup: CSE

New Delhi, December 2

Honey sold by several major brands in the country has been found adulterated with sugar syrup, the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) claimed on Wednesday.

The CSE selected 13 top as well as smaller brands of processed and raw honey being sold to check their purity. It was found that 77 per cent of the samples were adulterated with sugar syrup. Of the 22 samples checked, only five passed all tests.

‘China syrup used to bypass tests’

  • The CSE claims it tracked down Chinese trade portals which were advertising fructose syrup that can bypass tests to check adulteration.
  • It found that the same Chinese companies that advertised the syrup also exported it to India.

The CSE investigation has claimed that “nefarious adulteration business of honey designed to bypass purity tests” could have “massive implications on our health during Covid-19 times”.

Just three of 13 brands pass safety test

  • 77% of the samples found adulterated with sugar syrup
  • Five of the 22 samples clear all safety tests
  • Leading brands Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya fail the NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) test, as per the CSE
  • Only 3 of 13 brands — Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar — pass all tests

Investigations by the CSE with laboratory studies in India and Germany revealed the rampant adulteration. “Only three out of 13 brands passed the internationally accepted NMR test. Indian standards for honey purity cannot detect the adulteration because Chinese firms have designed sugar syrups to bypass these standards,” said the CSE.

“This food fraud compromises public health in the Covid times. Indians today are consuming more honey because they believe in its anti-inflammatory properties to build immunity against the virus. But if it is adulterated, what we are actually eating is sugar, adding to the challenge of obesity, which in turn makes us more vulnerable to Covid-19,” said CSE Director General Sunita Narain. — TNS

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