13 Brands Including Patanjali, Dabur Adulterating Honey With Sugar Syrup: CSE Study

Acharya Balkrishna, Patanjali Ayurved Managing Director, said the honey sold by the company is 100 per cent natural.

Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), the environment watchdog, claimed on Wednesday that honey sold by 13 major brands in India including Dabur has been found adulterated with sugar syrup. Dabur and Patanjali have, however, rejected the claim.

To check their purity of processed and raw honey sold in India, food researchers at CSE selected 13 top brands and some smaller brands. 77 per cent of the samples, according to the researchers, were found adulterated with sugar syrup. Only five samples out of 22 passed all the tests.

Honey samples from leading brands such as Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya failed NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) test, the CSE study said.

The samples were tested at the Centre for Analysis and Learning in Livestock and Food (CALF) at the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) in Gujarat.

Almost all the top brands passed the tests of purity while a few smaller brands failed the tests to detect C4 sugar or basic adulteration using cane sugar, the CSE said.

However, when the same brand samples were subjected to NMR tests, almost all the big and small brands failed. Out of the 13 brands, only three passed the NMR test conducted by a specialised laboratory in Germany.

Saffola, MarkfedSohna and Nature’s Nectar are the three brands that passed the NMR tests.

“What we found was shocking. It shows how the business of adulteration has evolved so that it can pass the stipulated tests in India. Our concern is not just that the honey we eat is adulterated, but that this adulteration is difficult to catch. In fact, we have found that the sugar syrups are designed so that they can go undetected,” Amit Khurana, the programme director of CSE’s Food Safety and Toxins team, said.

Responding to the study, Dabur and Patanjali have refuted the findings of a study that said the honey sold by the companies is adulterated with sugar syrup.

They have fully adhered to the norms on testing honey set by the by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI), the companies said.

“The recent reports seem motivated and aimed at maligning our brand. We assure our consumers that Dabur Honey is 100 per cent pure and indigenous, collected naturally from Indian sources and packed with no added sugar or other adulterants,” a Dabur spokesperson told PTI.

Acharya Balkrishna, Patanjali Ayurved Managing Director, said the honey sold by the company is 100 per cent natural.

“It seems to be a plot to defame Indian natural honey industry and manufacturers in a bid to promote processed honey,” Balkrishna said.


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