This Is Why Gobi Manchurian Is Banned In Bengaluru, Goa: Imp Facts You Should Know

Rohit Kulkarni

Rohit Kulkarni

Mar 31, 2024

In the name of public health, the government of Karnataka has announced a ban on the of artificial colours, specifically Rhodamine B2, in ‘gobi manchurian’ and ‘cotton candy’. This ban has been issued on the grounds of ill effects that the element has on public health.

What is Rhodamine B & How Harmful It Really Is?

Commonly employed in synthetic dyes for colouring silk, jute, leather, cotton, and wool, as well as in the cosmetics and plastics industries, Rhodamine B (RhB) is a chemical compound, which due to its low cost, is also used for food colouring.

The issues that arise from its use range from potential health hazards, including skin and eye irritation, respiratory issues, and debated carcinogenicity.

Why is Rhodamine B Banned?

As per the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), unless permitted in the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011, no colouring element should be added to the food.

The permitted synthetic colouring agents are:

  • Red – Ponceau 4R, Carmoisine, Erythrosine
  • Yellow – Tartrazine, Sunset Yellow FCF
  • Blue – Indigo Carmine, Brilliant Blue FCF
  • Green – Fast Green FCF

How to detect Rhodamine B contamination in your food?

Say, you want to test and detect the presence of this element in your chilli powder, then you have to do the below:

  • Take 2 grams of the sample in a test tube and add 5 ml of acetone in it.
  • Observe the colour of the acetone layer, if it turns red then it confirms the presence of Rhodamine B.

Note: Prudence shoule be practiced while using Acetone, since it is a highly flammable solvent and must be kept away from flame.

When it comes to buying fruits, people prefer dark and clear food items, hence to make it saleable, traders apply a layer of Rhodamine B on the upper part of sweet potato.

How to Detect Rhodamine B in Sweet Potato?

  • Dip a cotton ball in water or vegetable oil and rub it on the outer surface of sweet potato.
  • If the ball remains clean, then there is no contamination with Rhodamine B and it is acceptable for consumption
  • If the cotton ball turns reddish or violet, it means that the same is adulterated with the element.

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Rohit Kulkarni
Rohit Kulkarni
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