Toxic elements traced in 50 pc of spices sold in Kerala
Kottayam: It has been found that about 50 percent of the spices brought to the market in the state contain more than allowed quantity of toxic elements. This was detected when the research wing of Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) examined the food products and vegetables collected from farmers and market from January to June 2019. The report in this regard was submitted to the government.
The highest amount of pesticide was traced in cumin seed and fennel seed. These are produced outside Kerala and brought to the markets here. No pesticide was found in cardamom and pepper. Also rice and wheat were found to have no toxic content.
Presence of 10 different types of pesticides were found in curry leaves collected from various sources. Most of these pesticides are not recommended for agricultural purposes. No toxins were traced in the curry leaves collected from the farmers in Kerala. Twenty percent of the 257 vegetables collected from the fields in the state have pesticide content in them.
Food crops with zero toxic content
Beetroot, violet cabbage, carrot, taro, tapioca, coriander leaves, ginger, gooseberry, mango, banana, ridge gourd, potato, orange, pomegranate, watermelon, guava, pineapple, coriander powder and fenugreek.
Method of testing
This is the 46th study conducted as part of ‘Safe to Eat’ scheme of the Agricultural University with the financial aid of agricultural department. The test was conducted in the NABL accredited laboratory in Vellayani Agricultural College.
Equipment like gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer and liquid chromatograph spectrometer, which are able trace even a minute presence (1/100,00,00,000) of pesticide content, were used for the tests.