Honey laundering: Think twice before buying your brand honey

FSSAI closes down 3 honey producing units on charges of adulteration

Kozhikode: All the honey that you buy from the market may not be pure; it may be adulterated with cane sugar, corn syrup or product that contains antibiotic residue. The rising demand for honey due to its curative properties has led to a practice named ‘honey laundering’ in various parts of the state. The prices have also risen due to the dwindling production caused by the collapse of domestic bee colonies.

After a recent inspection conducted by the officials of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), three honey producing units in Thirumvambai in Kozhikode district and another at Wayanad were closed down and six other honey units were given notice to correct their flaws. The inspection revealed that what’s labelled as pure honey by the majority of brands is honey blend or honey syrup or adulterated, according to the FSSAI officials.

As per the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act and rules, no person shall use the word ‘honey’ or any word, mark, illustration or device that suggests honey on the label or any package of, or in any advertisement for, any food that resembles honey but is not pure honey. “Though it's not illegal to sell honey blends, the product must be labelled that way, and often that does not happen,” said FSSAI assistant commissioner P.K. Aleyamma.

Honey that contains the flavonoids has been widely recommended as an agent to prevent diseases like cancer, heart disease, ulcers and other gastrointestinal disorders. Hence, the sales and the consumption of honey in the state have increased and the local varieties are often most sought-after. The people buy these products coming from the interiors no matter whether they are real or not, she added. As part of the inspection, the department collected the samples of 26 different varieties of honey available in the market here.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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