Food toxicants, Adulteration- by Dr.JP Singh, Com.Med,SRMSIMS Bareilly

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Nutrition & Health


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Food Hygiene & Food Toxicants:

Food Hygiene & Food Toxicants Dept. of Community medicine


Index FOOD HYGIENE Food adulteration Food Additives Food fortification FOOD Toxicants Definition Classification Lathyrism Aflotoxins Ergot Epidemic dropsy Endemic ascitis


ADULTERATION OF FOODS Adulteration of foods consists of large number of practices such as – mixing, substitution, removal, concealing the quality, putting up decomposed foods for sale, misbranding or giving labels and addition of toxicants. Some forms of adulteration are injurious to health, eg ., adulteration of mustard oil with argemone oil. But for the most part food adulteration has an economic rather than a sanitary significance eg ., addition of water to milk.

Examples of food adulteration:

Examples of food adulteration Food materials Common adulterants Arhar dal Kesarri dal Coffee powder Cereal starch/Turmeric seeds Turmeric powder Lead chromate powder Green vegetables like Bitter Gourd, Green Chilli and others Malachite Green Chilli powder Brick powder Rice Earth, sand, grit, unhusked paddy, rice bran, talc, etc. Tea Leaves Coal Tar Dye/ Iron / Leather Flakes Wheat Earth, sand, grit, chopped straw, bran, unhusked grain, and seeds of weeds. Milk Addition of water/Cream/Urea/starch, Removal of cream Butter Starch, Animal fats

Food additives:

Non-nutritious substances added intentionally to food, generally in small quantities, to improve its flavor, texture or storage properties. Classification: First category: Colouring agents (saffron, turmeric), flavoring agents (vanilla essence), sweeteners (saccharin), preservatives (sodium benzoate), etc. - SAFE Second category : contaminants incidental through packing, processing, farming or environmental conditions (insecticides), etc. – UNSAFE Regulated by PFA Act, 1954. Food additives

PowerPoint Presentation:

Modern science of food technology has revolutionized food processing with the introduction of chemical additives to increase the: Shelf-life of food, Improve its taste, and To change its texture or colour . Majority of the processed foods such as bread, biscuits, cakes, sweets, confectionary, jams, jellies, soft drinks, ice creams, ketchup and refined oils contain food additives. Any food that contains food additives that are not permitted is considered to be adulterated; if the permissible limit exceeds then also the food is considered adulterated. The nature and quantity of the additive shall be clearly printed on the label to be affixed to the container

Food fortification:

Process of adding nutrients to food (in relatively small quantities) to maintain or improve the quality of the diet of a group, a community or a population. Examples: Iodisation of salt to prevent endemic goiter. Vit A & D addition to vanaspati ghee Fluoridation of water to prevent dental caries. Qualities of fortification: Food fortified must be of regular consumption by population. Amount of fortification should be optimum. No noticeable change in color, odor, or taste. The price should not be affected. Food fortification




FOODBORNE DISEASES Defined as : " A disease either infectious or toxic in nature, caused by agents that enter the body through the ingestion of food.“ With the increase in urbanization, industrialization, tourism & mass catering systems, food borne diseases are on the increase throughout the world.

Food borne diseases may be classified as :

Food borne diseases may be classified as A. Food borne intoxications B. Food borne infections

A. Food borne intoxications:

A. Food borne intoxications 1. Due to naturally occurring toxins in some foods Lathyrism (beta oxalyl amino— alanine ) Endemic ascitis ( Pyrrolizidine alkaloids) 2. Due to toxins produced by certain bacteria Botulism Staphyloccus poisons 3. Due to toxins produced by some fungi Aflatoxin Ergot Fusarium toxins

4. Food borne chemical poisoning:

4. Food borne chemical poisoning Heavy metals e.g., mercury (usually in fish), cadmium (in certain shellfish) and lead (in canned food) Oils, petroleum derivatives & solvents (e.g., Trycresyn phosphate or TCP) Migrant chemicals from package materials Asbestos Pesticide residues (DDT, BHC)

B. Food borne infections:

B. Food borne infections Bacterial diseases Typhoid fever, Paratyphoid fever, Salmonellosis , Staphylococcal intoxication, Cl. perfringens illness, Botulism, B. cereus Food Poisoning, E. coli diarrhoea , Non-cholera vibrio illness, V. para-haemolyticus infection, Streptococcal infection, Shigellosis ,Brucellosis Viral diseases Viral hepatitis, Gastroenteritis Parasites - Taeniasis Hydatidosis , Trichinosis, Ascariasis . Amoebiasis , Oxvuriasis


Lathyrus sativus : Khesari dal ( Teora dal, Lak dal, Batra , Gharas , Matra ). Diets containing > 30% dal, taken over 2-6 mths , causes neurolathyrism . Toxin: BOAA (Beta oxalyl amino alanine). Five stage disease : Latent stage, No stick stage, 1-stick stage, 2-stick stage, Crawler stage. TOXICANTS- LATHYRISM Arhar Dal Khesari Dal

Prevention & control of lathyrism:

Vitamin C Prophylaxis : 500-1000 mg of ascorbic acid. Banning the crop. Removal of toxin: Steeping method: soaking in hot water for > 2 hrs. Parboiling: soaking in lime water overnight followed by boiling. Education. Genetic approach : selective propogation of lathyrus species with less toxin. Socio-economic changes . Prevention & control of lathyrism


Mycotoxins produced by Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus . Hepatotoxic and potent carcinogen. Moisture level above 16% and temperatures from 11-17 o C favor aflatoxin formation. Control: Storage of food grains after drying (<10%). If contaminated, food should not be consumed . Health education regarding toxic effects of infected food grains. Aflatoxins


Field fungus: Claviceps fusiformis . Blackish mass, seeds grow black and irregular, harvested along with the food grains. Safe limit : 0.05 mg/ 100 gms of food material. Acute Ergotism – nausea, repeated vomiting, giddiness and drowsiness; sometimes fatal. Chronic Ergotism – painful cramps in limbs, peripheral gangrene. Removal : hand picking, floatation in 20% salt water, air floatation. Ergot

Epidemic dropsy:

Cause : Sanguinarine in Argemone oil ( Argemone mexicana – Prickly poppy ). Symptoms : sudden, non-inflammatory, bilateral swelling of legs, often associated with diarrhoea; dyspnea, cardiac failure and death; mortality = 50%. Tests for contamination: Nitric Acid Test: development of brown to red-orange colour (sensitivity 0.25%). Paper chromatography test: sensitivity 0.0001%. Epidemic dropsy

Endemic ascitis:

Cause: millet Panicum miliare ( gondhli ) contaminated with Crotalaria ( jhunjhunia ); hepatotoxic alkaloids. Symptoms: rapidly developing ascitis with jaundice. Control: Deweeding jhunjhunia . Sieving to remove smaller jhunjhunia seeds. Endemic ascitis

Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 :

Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954 Enacted by the Indian Parliament in 1954, with the objective of ensuring pure and wholesome food to the consumers and to protect them from fraudulent and deceptive trade practices, the Prevention of Food Adulteration (PFA) Act was amended in 1964, 1976 and lately in 1986 to make the Act more stringent. A minimum imprisonment of 6 months with a minimum fine of Rs.1000 is envisaged under the Act for cases of proven adulteration. Whereas for the cases of adulteration which may render the food injurious to cause death or such harm which may amount to grievous hurt, the punishment may go up to life imprisonment and a fine which shall not be less than Rs.5000 .


Contin ----- Food adulteration is a social evil. The general public, traders, and Food Inspectors are all responsible for perpetuating this evil – The public , because of lack of awareness of the dangers of adulteration and their general disinterest; The traders , for their greed for money, and Food inspectors who find food adulteration a fertile ground to make easy money. Unless the public rises up against the traders and unscrupulous food inspectors, this evil cannot be curbed. It is here the voluntary agencies and consumer guidance societies can play a vital role.

World Health Day 2015: :

World Health Day 2015: ?

World Health Day 2015:7th April Food safety :

World Health Day 2015:7 th April Food safety The WHO is promoting improvement of  food safety  as part of the 2015 World Health Day campaign.  Unsafe food — food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances — is responsible for more than 200 diseases, and is linked to the deaths of some 2 million people annually, mostly children. Changes in food production, distribution and consumption; changes to the environment; new and emerging pathogens; and  antimicrobial resistance  all pose challenges to food safety systems.

World food day-16th October (that calls for people around the world to take action against global hunger.) THANK U:

World food day-16th October (that calls for people around the world to take action against global hunger.) THANK U

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