Leading Indian honey brands fail international purity test

According to a recent lab test by Center for Science and Environment, only Marico's Saffola Honey has met the purity standards

e4m by exchange4media Staff
Updated: Dec 3, 2020 11:34 AM

India's top honey brands like Dabur, Patanjali and Emami have failed purity test by Center for Science and Environment (CSE), say media reports. Leading brands had been marketing their products in the COVID-19 pandemic as an immunity booster. CSE says that almost all brands of honey sold in India are adulterated with sugar syrup.

"Investigations by CSE with laboratory studies in India and Germany reveal rampant adulteration in honey sold by major brands in India," said CSE. Only three out of 13 brands has passed the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) test.

Marico's Saffola Honey is the only one among major brands who have cleared all tests. While the big brands failed the international lab test, smaller brands have been flagged for adulteration both in Indian and foreign tests, said another report.

The findings were:

  • 77 per cent of the samples were found to be adulterated with the addition of sugar syrup.
  • Out of 22 samples tested, only five passed all the tests.
  • Honey samples from leading brands such as Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya, all failed the NMR test.
  • Only 3 out of the 13 brands – Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar (one out of two samples) -- passed all the tests. 

The CSE said that the big brands have been using adulterants like sugar syrup, and others derived from rice, corn, beets and sugarcane. These adulterants were being shipped from China. But with the ban on Chinese imports, these brands have been looking to local suppliers for the same.

The brands on their part have denied that their products have been adulterated, and have claimed that they meet the regulatory requirements of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

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