With the UT health department all set to launch a mobile food testing laboratory in February, the city residents will be able to get food samples tested in their sectors only. The laboratory will roam across the city, collecting samples and spreading awareness about common food adulterants.
The main aim of launching the mobile food testing lab is to check adulteration in milk and related products, ghee, spices, etc. Besides, experts will also make people aware about how to differentiate original food items from adulterants.
The lab will be equipped with automatic machines which will give instant results.
Sukhwinder Singh of the food safety cell said, “The mobile lab van will have an automatic machine for checking adulteration in milk and related products. After picking up a sample, the machine will tell within three-four minutes whether it’s adulterated or not. It will also find out the kinds of adulterant — like water, urea, detergent, etc.”
The adulteration in several other food items like curd, sugar, khoya, spices, pulses, etc can also be detected with the machine.
Citing a few common adulteration practices, Singh said, “Pulses can be polished with lead chromate, spices are adulterated with artificial colouring, starch is added in khoya, chalk powder in sugar and mineral oil in edible oil.”
The food safety officers will also educate public about common adulterants. “People will be taught to differentiate original from artificial like mixing dried payapa seeds with black pepper.”
Dr VK Gagneja, director health services, said, “The food testing lab service will be launched in February. It will move across the city to collect samples for testing. The van will be stationed in different sectors on selected days.”