Sweets are an indispensable part of Indian festivals. And this is the time of the season, we head to sweet shops to pack kilos of sweets. But before you do so, you need to read about some interesting facts about sweets, says Dr Saurabh Arora, Founder of Foodsafetyhelpine.com, Director of Auriga Research and Arbro pharmaceuticals.
Most consumers buy brightly coloured sweets and savouries as it gives an impression of great taste. If you are tempted to buy brightly coloured sweets, savouries, ice-creams and beverages for Diwali, beware because the bright colours could be toxic as vendors use bright and sometimes non-permitted colours.
Food manufacturers, sweet-makers, bakers, restaurants and processed food manufacturers use different kinds of permitted colours in sweets, bakeries and savouries. This is because, artificial colours are less expensive, more stable and long lasting and give the product an appealing bright colour.
Food colours are categorised as permitted and non-permitted colours. Use of non-permitted food colours and use of colours above the prescribed food regulatory limit is called adulteration as there is a loss in quality in such foods.
Sweets that are coloured bright pink, green, bright yellow and green can be suspected of containing non-permitted colours. Hence, to prevent the adverse side effects of non permitted food colours it is advised to avoid these sweets, especially festivals like Diwali, when it's rampantly used.
Rather than using artificial food colours, it is wise to go natural. Use of traditional food colouring agents made from fruits and vegetables like saffron, turmeric, beetroots and Kashmiri chilli powder in foods can give you the desired colours along with being healthy.