Festivals are just around the corner and you must be busy shopping for new cloths, gifts and sweets. Hold on! If you are a sweet lover and crave for these sugar laden, tasty treats, you would probably be better off without them this year.
Adulteration in sweets, especially during festive times like Dussehra and Diwali has been discussed for several years now. Every year, the amount of sweets that come out to the market with unhealthy, chemically processed hazardous ingredients seems to be on the rise.
Each year, more than 10 Lakh kgs of sweets are bought and consumed in big cities during Diwali. Prices of raw materials like milk, khoya, dry fruits, ghee etc. rise drastically forcing sellers to use poor raw materials, artificial colors and sweeteners to make sweets that can cause more harm than good.
A lot of small time players do not make their own sweets. These are procured from random sweet dealers at very cheap prices and are sold at more than two times the actual cost to make a handsome profit.
Though there is a lot of exposure about such adulterated sweets in the Northern part of India, it is equally happening all around, especially in big cities like Bangalore and Chennai.
“We visit a lot of friends and relatives during Diwali and Store bought sweets are the easiest gifts that are available”, says a resident from Bangalore. “Most of us do not find the time to make sweets at home and buying them is a lot of times easier and cheaper”.
Which products rate the maximum in adulteration?
The Food Safety Department of various states conduct regular inspections of sweet stores around Diwali time and hundreds of vendors are remanded and charged of selling/producing adulterated sweets.
These experts mention that Milk and its derivative khoya are two highest rated products that are adulterated in huge quantities. The reasons can be that most sweets are milk based and that the cost of milk goes very high during this season.
Another alarming information is the quality of the silver foil that is spread on sweets like Kaju Khatli. These are actually aluminum foils which are carcinogenic and very harmful when consumed. Pistachio flakes that are spread on sweets are mostly artificial and leave behind a green tint when pressed up on a tissue paper.
(Image Source: Manchester Evening News Syndication)
These are just few examples of what can go wrong with your Diwali sweets. Most of them are cooked in dingy, dirty streets on vessels that are not cleaned properly and are often surrounded by hoards of mosquitoes and flies.
What can be done to safe guard your family during Diwali?
It is nearly impossible to find out the exact source of the sweet and the kind of raw materials it was cooked from. Avoiding these sweets is your best bet. If possible, you can make small quantities of homemade sweets for your family and resort to buy other healthy, hygienic food items for friends and relatives.
Pre-packed cookies from reputed brands are a good choice. These are produced under set conditions, adhere to all safety standards and are a better choice when it comes to Diwali sweet exchange! Such packed cookies come with a shelf life that is much higher than regular sweets. This means that your guest can keep them aside and enjoy them after the hustle and bustle of Diwali celebrations.
These days, every household has a person who is diabetic! Sweets are loaded with sugars and can spike up glucose levels instantly. Sugar free cookies are the perfect gift in that case! Unibic Cookies is one such brand that comes with a range of sugar free varieties that are tasty and glutton free.
This Diwali protect yourself and your loved ones from unhealthy sweets! Wishing you a safe Diwali.