Keep an eye on the details in the label to avoid buying adulterated products.

The market is flooded with spurious products. Every other day you hear about adulterated cosmetics, milk, food products, fuel, building materials, medicines or packaged water... there doesn't seem to be anything left out. In such a case, selecting the right product may seem really challenging. However it is not difficult to spot them.

Certain precautions at the buying point can help us zero in on the right product. Adulteration is a very serious issue when it involves products like milk, medicines and spices since it will have serious health implications. Despite improvement in technology and packaging, adulteration is a very serious problem.

At a time when people are looking to lead a healthy lifestyle, this can set them back from that goal.

Milky way

Milk is commonly contaminated with urea, starch, caustic soda, which cause food poisoning, gastritis, nausea, vomiting. When buying milk, know where it comes from. If you buy packaged milk, buy it from a place that has the facilities for proper storage.

Elementary check: Put a drop of milk on a vertical surface. If the milk being tested is pure it either stops or flows slowly leaving behind a white trail. But if the milk is adulterated with water, it will flow immediately without leaving a mark.

Truly medicinal

According to the World Health Organization, 35 per cent of the world's spurious drugs are produced in India. Still, it is difficult to determine the precise effect on health because the person consuming the drug does not know that it is counterfeit. Therefore, if there is no improvement, a patient usually thinks the diagnosis was wrong. He keeps consulting physicians and often ends up with a series of tests resulting in increased expenditure and mental agony. So, here's a checklist to differentiate the authentic pack from counterfeit ones.

Medicine pack should be properly sealed.

The symbol ® must follow the trade name

The active ingredient name (scientific name) must be spelled correctly.

The manufacturer's name and logo should be legible and correct.

The number of tablets listed on the label should match the number of tablets stated on the container.

The manufacture and expiry dates should be clearly indicated on the label.

Spice wise

Can you imagine cooking without spices? Certainly not. But what if the spices are spurious? It makes the dish harmful. Brick powder in red chilli powder, papaya seeds in black pepper and sand in coriander powder are some common examples of adulteration. Contaminated spices can hamper normal functioning of the liver and may cause other gastro-intestinal problems. Be alert while buying and look for brand/company's logo and hologram.

Home tests: To check for brick powder in red chilli powder, put the powder in water; brick powder settles fast compared to chilli powder. For adulterated turmeric powder, add a few drops of Hydrochloric acid (acid used to clean toilets) to turmeric extract. If it turns violet this indicates contamination with synthetic yellow colour.

Eventually, it is the consumer who is instrumental in countering the menace of spurious products by being cautious with selection.

So keep these precautions in mind and check and double check every time you buy something. Stay conscious and stay healthy!