THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Branded powdered spices sold in Kerala have come under the scanner with the food safety authorities exposing the level of adulteration in one of the popular food brands.
Investigations carried out by food safety authorities found that wheat flour and starch were being used for adulterating chilly, coriander and turmeric powders manufactured by Nirapara.
The commissionerate had granted three days to Nirapara for recalling the banned products from the market, and the ultimatum ends on Wednesday. It took nearly one year for the authorities to issue the ban order.
“We have been collecting samples of spices powders since 2014 and Nirapara was a repeated offender. So we didn’t stop collecting their samples during our routine drives,” commissioner of food safety T. V. Anupama said.
“We have issued notices and imposed fines, but they didn’t mend their ways and continued to sell the product the same way. Recently, we got the samples scrutinised at the Spices Board lab and reports indicated a high level of starch. We imposed fine to the tune of Rs 5 lakh thrice.”
She said the commissionerate could not cancel license and registration of the company.
“We banned only three of the products manufactured by Nirapara and airing the advertisement of prohibited products is offensive. They have no restriction in selling their other products,” she said. The commissioner said 30 per cent of the banned products was the starch....