Deccan Chronicle

Is Alloxan being mixed in maida? Find out, says Madras HC

Deccan Chronicle | DC Correspondent

Published on: May 3, 2016 | Updated on: May 3, 2016

According to petitioner, maida flour was prepared from wheat by removing the roughage or dietary fiber starches.

Madras High Court

Madras High Court

Chennai: The Madras high court has directed the authorities to examine the allegation that a chemical called "Alloxan" is being mixed in maida flour and take action if it is found to be correct.

The first bench, comprising Chief Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul and justice M M Sundresh, were disposing of a PIL from K Rajendran of Nagapattinam district, which sought a direction to the Commissioner of Food Safety and Standard Authority and Director of Health and Preventive Medicine to take action on his representation by banning the manufacturing, marketing and consuming of "Alloxan contained White Flour".

The bench said, "On our query, we find that apparently the petitioner has no expertise in the field to canvass what is sought to be submitted before us, that is the effect of some undesirable chemical as a white agent in Maida. The issue, however, is important and our concern is that the cause does not get damaged because the petitioner has no expertise in the field. At this stage, thus, only issue a direction to the authorities to examine the representation made by the petitioner on March 14, 2016 by making his own research and enquiry in the field and if what is alleged is found to be correct to proceed in accordance with law ".

According to petitioner, maida flour was prepared from wheat by removing the roughage or dietary fiber starches and bleached using "benzoic peroxide or chlorine oxide". In addition to bleaching, it was softened by mixing a chemical called Alloxan making the maida flour to have many chemical components.

These chemicals have adverse effect and cause many health problem in human beings ranging from constipation to all higher disease especially diabetics and obesity.

Earlier, maida (bleached white flour) mixed with hot water was being used as "gross" to stick wall papers. But now, it has become all purpose flour mostly used in making 90 percent of bakery items like Parotta, naan, bread and biscuits etc.

Though white flour contains more of starch providing easily digestible glucose for fuel, certain proteins in the flour produce a chemical reaction with the chlorine gas which forms a very toxic byproduct known as Alloxan which destroys the beta cells in pancreas causing diabetes, he added.

He said Europe and USA had banned the use of chemicals to bleach flour, instead they allow the wheat to naturally change colours over a period of a few weeks. Animal scientists know of the Alloxan-diabetes connection. In spite of it, the government officials do nothing to ban these substances of chemicals and process of bleaching of flour, he added.

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