CityGreens Consumer Awareness Initiative. How to check for adulteration in Green Peas

Of all the fruits and vegetables, we consume, green peas is probably one of the most difficult to adulterate. That is because it comes in its protective shell. Yet, one may come across vendors selling peeled green peas which may add to our convenience but may also expose us to dangerous chemicals. This is especially true if you buy these during offseason. Green pea is not an all-season vegetable and hence people often buy frozen peas. While buying renowned brands may give one some comfort but it would never harm to double check if the frozen peas stored in your freezer are adulterant free.

Adulterant used in Green Pea (Malachite Green)

Most of us determine the quality of a vegetable by looking at its color. The greener the vegetable, the better we assume it to be. It is this particular trait that adulterants target while using Malachite Green for enhancing the color in Green Peas. Malachite Green is an organic dye used for dying materials like leather, silk, and paper. It can cause cancer, has an adverse effect on liver health and can possibly cause liver tumors as well.

Test to check adulteration in Green Peas

Thankfully, it’s very easy and simple to check for adulteration of Malachite Green in Green Peas.

There are 3 different methods that you can use:-

1. Tissue paper test – leave some Green peas on a white tissue paper for a couple of hours. The dye will leave green spots on tissue paper showing the presence of adulterant.

2. Water boiling test – boil green peas in a small amount of water for 5 minutes. If the water turns green, it will show the presence of Malachite Green.

3. Water dip test – Put some green peas in a clear glass. Fill it up with water and leave it overnight. If the dye is present, water will turn green.

Best practices while shopping for Green Peas

1. Always buy Green Peas along with their outer shell.

2. Chances of adulteration are greatest when you are buying open peas from a local vendor (especially, during offseason). If you end up buying these, do any of the above tests to be sure of quality (You may be surprised to find that you were sold white matars dyed green in place of Green Peas)

3. When buying frozen peas, go for an established brand. Alternatively, verify the quality once using any of the above tests before switching to a new brand.

Stay Safe!

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