Patanjali, Dabur Cheating Indians By Selling Honey With ‘Chinese Sugar’! What’s The Truth?
Honey is one of the rare food substances which is used as a food as well as a medicine since ancient times in India.
In addition, due to its proven antibacterial, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties, suppressing cough, healing wounds, honey is anticipated to gain popularity in food and non-food applications throughout the world. So this must be an exciting time to be in a honey market space in India which happens to be the big market of 17.29 billion, right?
But recently the Indian honey brands have been alleged to use “Chinese Sugar”.
CSE Report and how the “Chinese sugar” bypasses tests:-
According to researchers from the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), Major indian honey brands are mixing honey with a modified sugar from China which bypasses some basic tests used to detect the adulteration in honey and hence are bringing them into book.
The CSE study found that almost all brands of honey being sold in the Indian market are adulterated with sugar syrup.
However the honey brands’ spokespersons from Dabur, Patanjali and Zandu pointed out that they meet regulatory requirements laid down by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) denied that their honey products were adulterated and express their dismay at the casted aspersions.
This all started when CSE investigated the decreased profits for beekeepers despite the increase in demand for honey during pandemic situation
“It is a food fraud more nefarious and more sophisticated than what we found in our 2003 and 2006 investigations into soft drinks; more damaging to our health than perhaps anything that we have found till now — keeping in mind the fact that we are still fighting against a killer COVID-19 pandemic with our backs to the wall,” Narain said in a statement Wednesday.
This is worrisome, as not only the intrinsic goodness — antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of honey will be compromised, but the Chinese sugar may increase sugar ingestion particularly risky for some people.
Sugar in honey, if any, is detected in C3 & C4 tests, however these elusive Chinese sugar can only be detected by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR). Hence these tests are now made mandatory for honey which is to be exported.
Of the 13 Indian honey brands tested, only three brands passed the NMR test.
Brands denying the allegations :-
This is how Dabur reacted “The recent reports seem motivated and aimed at maligning our brand. We assure our consumers that Dabur Honey is 100% Pure. It is 100% indigenous, collected naturally from Indian sources and packed with no added sugar or other adulterants,”.
Acharya Balkrishna, managing director of Patanjali Ayurved Ltd, called the report “an attempt to lower the market share of Indian honey in international trade”.
These syrups are imported to India through various trade portals disguised as something else. What is shocking that these are designed to pass tests of purity.