In many parts of India, mustard oil is widely consumed as an edible oil and for ceremonial use, and is a target for adulterations for economic gain. In a test of 20 samples, 80% of the samples were adulterated. Adulterants, some of them hazardous to human health, often consist of cheaper oils such as palm or sesame seed oil, as well as added dyes or flavor components. Tests were made using TLC Chromatography, nitric acid test, azo dye test and other test methods.
Sudan IV, a diazo dye widely used to stain fuel and industrial grease, is a carcinogen and therefore unsuitable for human consumption. In a recent case in Ghana, it was added to palm oil to achieve the typical reddish-brown color. Adulteration of palm oil is a recurring issue that has been taking place across Asian and African brands, including products sold in Europe, and authorities keep warning of the consumption of the tarnished palm oil.
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