TEST REPORT: Besan
- Posted by CERC India
- Posted in Press Releases
10 brands of besan tested: Which is the best one?Â
Ahmedabad, 9 April 2019Â
Grahak Sathi (April-May 2019), the National Consumer Magazine in Hindi published by Consumer Education and Research Centre (CERC), Ahmedabad, recently released findings of its in-house comparative product testing laboratory on besan (gram flour).
We tested ten popular brands available in the Indian market to assess the quality of besan being used by consumers today. The tests were carried out as per the Food Safety and Standards (Food Product Standards and Food Additives) Regulation, 2011 (FSS Regn.) and IS: 2400:1976 (Specification for Besan).
It is indeed welcome news for consumers that all the brands of besan proved to be good in terms of fineness, freshness and overall quality. They complied with the requirements of FSSAI and BIS standards. None showed adulteration or the presence of artificial colours. The labelling, packing and net weight observations were also adequate as per the law.
Organic brands: Interestingly, the three organic brands tested â€“ PRO-Nature, Organic Tattva and 24 Mantra Organic, which are much costlier than the non-organic brands, did not figure in the top 3.Â
KEY FINDINGS (See table for detailed results)
- With the highest overall score (73) and reasonable price (Rs. 58/500gm) Kitchen Shresht is our best buy.
- In all the brands, the moisture content (a test for spoilage) was within the BIS limit. They complied with the BIS as well as the FSS Regn. limits for total ash (a test for milling efficiency) and acid insoluble ash, which indicates absence of adulteration and contamination.
- The 10 brands passed the test for alcoholic acidity, with results below the BIS limit, which indicates freshness of the product. Also, they met the minimum requirement for protein of 21% set by BIS, with Kitchen Shresht scoring the highest with 23.8% protein.
- All 10 brands passed the test for fineness. The fineness of besan affects the quality of the finished products prepared using it. None of the brands showed presence of Metanil Yellow. It is a non-permitted colour that is hazardous to human health. Khesari dal, the consumption of which has been known to cause paralysis, was absent. Foreign starch, which may cause stomach disorders, was also absent in the brands.
Â Besan: Test Results
|Brands||Rank||Overall Score1 (%)||Price/500gÂ (Rs.)||MoistureÂ
|Acid Insoluble Ash (%)||Alcoholic Acidity
|Â||Â||Â||Â||Test to check for spoilage and lumps||Test to check milling efficiency||Test to check for adulteration||Test to check freshness||Â|
|Limit||Â||Â||Â||NMT2 11.5% (BIS)||NMT 5%
|NMT 0.5%(FSS Regn.)||NMT0.12%
|24 Mantra Organic||4||65||90||8.3||3.0||0.0||0.04||22.0|
1The Overall Score was calculated by giving the following weightage â€“ Moisture â€“ 20%, Total Ash â€“ 20%, Acid Insoluble Ash â€“ 20%, Protein â€“ 20% and Alcoholic Acidity â€“ 20%.Colouring agent Metanil Yellow and adulterants Khesari dal and foreign starch, were absent in all brands and hence not considered for rating and ranking. All brands passed in fineness, so this parameter was not included for rating.
2 NMT=Not more than
3NLT = Not less than
Â Previous testing
The CERC laboratory had earlier tested 12 brands of besan and two loose samples and the results were published in Insight, March-April 2007. Problems with respect to quality were observed then.
Â Areas of action
- Alcoholic acidity needs to be mandatorily included in FSSAI standards.
- Consumers need to be made aware of the fact that packaged foods are less likely to be adulterated or contaminated.
- Regular monitoring of loose as well as packaged products is vital.
Â Grahak Sathiâ€™s conclusion
It is heartening news that the quality of besan has improved substantially over the years, and all the brands meet the standards. However, consumers are being made to pay a premium for organic brands that do not figure among the top three.
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For further information please contact
Ms Pritee Shah (O) 079-27489945/46Â Â (M) +91 99048 63838