VIJAYAWADA: About 10 lakh kg of adulterated chilli powder has been seized since November 23 in Krishna and Guntur districts by the state government.
The adulterants, which are by products in the manufacture of Oleoresin oil, were from a Chinese company Chenguang Bio Tech Pvt Ltd.
Since chilli powder mixed with the unsafe adulterant has been released into the market, the government has cautioned the people not to buy any chilli powder whose packs do not contain the address of the manufacturer.
According to Food Safety officials, Chenguang Bio Tech Pvt Ltd, located in Mudigonda in Khammam district in the neighbouring Telangana state, is releasing the by products with the proviso that they should not be used for human and animal consumption since the adultrant is toxic.
At a news conference here on Friday, food safety officials made a demonstration of how chilli powder is adulterated with the by products. After mixing by products with chilli powder, chemicals like red oxide and roadamine B are mixed to impart red colour to the powder. “After these adulterants are mixed, it is difficult to detect the adulterated chilli powder from genuine one,” Health Minister Kamineni Srinivas said.
As many as 28 food safety officers across 13 districts along with the staff of other departments including Legal Metrology, Vigilance and Enforcement, Revenue and Agricultural market committees conducted raids at the places where adulteration of chilli powder was taking place and sent 98 samples to testing laboratories in Hyderabad for testing.
Results of 10 samples indicated that two were sub-standard and eight were unsafe.
“We will bring to book those who are resorting to the adulteration of chilli powder. We will register criminal cases against them so that will receive the harshest punishment,” he said.
Health and Family Welfare Commissioner I Samuel Anand Kumar explained that most of the adulterated chilli powder was coming into the state from Khammam and added that the AP government had urged Telangana to keep vigil to prevent movement of adulterated chilli powder into AP across the border.
Kamineni Srinivas also noted that, more number of officers will be recruited for effective vigilance to prevent adulteration of not only chilli powder but other food products too.
The adulterants are likely to cause respiratory and gastric complications if consumed.