Tea is one of the most consumed beverages across India. From kick-starting our mornings to refuelling energy throughout the day - a hot cup of chai is the answer to all. So much so that we find a dedicated dabba for chai patti (tea leaves) at every Indian household. That's not all. You will also find chai stalls and cafés at every nook and corner of the country. But have you ever wondered if the tea you are drinking is safe for consumption?! You heard us right. According Tea Board of India, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) in 2011 suggested that tea should be "free from extraneous matter, added colouring matter and harmful substances". However, today chemically-coloured tea has become a common phenomenon in the market. This situation has further prompted the Tea Board to spearhead an awareness campaign against adulterated tea.
"Colour adulteration is strictly prohibited from consumer health point of view and colouring of tea has gradually become a matter of serious concern these days. The treatment of teas with various colouring matters comes under the head of adulterants," an official statement by Tea Board reads.
What Is Colour Adulteration? What Adulterants Are Added To Tea Leaves:
As per Tea Board Of India, tea leaves that are of inferior quality or get damaged during manufacturing process are often treated with various colouring agents to improve their appearance and price. These colouring agents add no value to the product; instead they affect our health in various ways.
"There are occasional reports that sub standards tea leaves were used to be coloured with Bismark Brown, Potassium Blue, Turmeric, Indigo, Plumbago etc. to impart some favourite colour or glossiness to the product," the statement further read.
How To Detect Colour In Tea:
FSSAI took to its Twitter handle to share a super easy test to detect if the tea we are brewing is adulterated. All you need to do is spread the tea leaves on a filter paper and sprinkle some water to make the paper wet. A few minutes later, remove the leaves and wash the paper under running water. Then observe the stains on the paper against light. If you find no stain on the paper, then your tea leaves are completely unadulterated. But if you get to see any blackish-brown coloured stain on the filter paper, then the tea is adulterated.
Find the complete tweet here:
Detecting Exhausted Tea Leaves Adulteration in Tea Leaves#DetectingFoodAdulterants_11#AzadiKaAmritMahotsav@jagograhakjago@mygovindia@MIB_India@PIB_India@MoHFW_INDIApic.twitter.com/BqCcT9X8SO— FSSAI (@fssaiindia) October 21, 2021
"There is no such provision for use of colour in tea. Tea Board strongly advises to follow the guidelines of FSSAI for not using any colour in tea creating problem to food safety, human health, tea trade and quality," concludes the statement by Tea Board.
About Somdatta SahaExplorer- this is what Somdatta likes to call herself. Be it in terms of food, people or places, all she craves for is to know the unknown. A simple aglio olio pasta or daal-chawal and a good movie can make her day.