In the Indian kitchen, some ingredients can never be replaced. Not only are they necessary in the preparation of various regional delicacies, but they also have a wide range of applications that go beyond the kitchen. Mustard seeds (sarso) are one such example. We all have seen these tiny round black seeds in the preparation of potatoes, dals, rice and even in various tempering. These seeds can easily amp up the taste of any dish you make. But as much as we love to use this ingredient in our cooking, did you know that mustard seeds can often be adulterated with argemone seeds?
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) recently took to Instagram explaining how to check if sarso is adulterated with argemone seeds. For the unversed, argemone seeds are a major weed in the tropics and warm temperate regions. Mainly, in India, these seeds are a health hazard and disruption to subsistence farmers due to their prickliness.
According to research published in Food Safety In The 21st Century, "Mustard oil contaminated with argemone oil leads to epidemic dropsy. Its effects are dilatation, proliferation, and increased permeability of capillaries, leading to edema of the lower body and limbs, with oxidative stress and death of red blood cells causing anaemia and, ultimately, congestive heart failure. The visible symptoms are diarrhoea and vomiting, erythema (redness of the skin), coughing, and shortness of breath."
So, how to detect if your mustard seeds are actually adulterated with argemone seeds? FSSAI has just the solution!
How To Test Adulteration In Mustard Seeds
First, spread out your mustard seeds on a glass plate to check the adulteration. Now you need to examine for grainy and hard black seeds closely. If you find any, then your mustard seeds are adulterated with argemone seeds.
Take a look at FSSAI's video here:
Take this simple test today and find out the purity of your mustard seeds.