Srinagar: The mouth watering and luring sweets stacked at your favourite sweet shop may be containing toxic chemical clarificants. This was revealed after food safety officials here found sodium hydrosulphite usage in sweets.
During an inspection of a manufacturing unit – Amoul Food Products – at Barthana in Qamarwari – officials from the Drug and Food Control Organisation found the chemical being used in various sweets. Added to that were insanitary conditions, with rusted vessels being used and no license from the competent authorities; the unit was sealed.
This chemical, according to officials, is an industrial-use one, being a water-soluble salt primarily used in dyeing processes of fabrics to eliminate excess dye, and thus improve their overall colour quality. Assistant Food Commissioner, Hilal Ahmed Mir told Kashmir Reader that it is for these properties that this industrial chemical has now made its way into confectionery and sweet-making as its usage gives a better texture to the sweets and makes them look fresh. He said that it for the second time that such a chemical has been recovered during checks.
Adding that this chemical is usually known among users as ‘Rangkat’ and its usage is supposed to be limited only to industrial purposes, and definitely not for food products, he said, “There, however, are infringements and we now see that these chemicals are finding way into our bodies through these sweets.”
He claimed the department would act against those involved in the usage of these banned chemicals.
Meanwhile, Additional Deputy Commissioner, Food Safety, Srinagar has imposed a fine of Rs 75,000 on three Food Business Operators for selling substandard, misbranded products.