How to check adulteration in silver leaf (chandi-ki-vark)?

Here are four simple tests to check if that silver leaf or "Chandi-ka-Warq" on sweets is adulterated or not.

Food adulteration is quite common. During festivals, there are high chances of sweets and savouries being adulterated, which can pose health risks right from diarrhoea and vomiting to food poisoning. One such commonly available adulterated sweets are sweets with silver leaf or chandi-ki-vark. So to help you detect adulteration in silver leaf, Dr Saurabh Arora, Founder of Food Safety and MD Auriga research and Director at Arbro Pharmaceuticals suggests few simple tests. Also read about chandi-ka-vark (silver leaf) on sweets significance and side effects.

Test 1: It is a simple test that anyone can do at home. With your fingers, try to wipe off the silver leaf on top of sweets. If the residue sticks to the fingers, it means that the silver leaf is adulterated with aluminium. If it doesn't, then it means the sweets are safe to eat. Also read how to check if milk and milk products are adulterated.

Test 2: Another simple test to test adulteration of silver leaf is by igniting a piece of silver leaf. Remove a layer of silver leaf from the sweets and ignite it or heat it. If it is made of silver it will turn into a ball of silver, whereas if adulterated it can turn black. Usually, it is adulterated with aluminium. You can know this if you burn it because aluminium turns into greyish black ashes.

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Test 3: If you have access to chemical reagents or if you have diluted hydrochloric acid at your place, you can try this test. For this, place a silver leaf in a test tube and add diluted hydrochloric acid drop by drop. If it becomes turbid with a white precipitate, it means silver is present and hence, it is not adulterated. However, if it's adulterated with aluminium, on the addition of diluted HCl, it neither becomes turbid or precipitates.

Test 4: It is a simple home test that can help you to detect adulteration. You need to rub some silver leaf between the palms. If it is silver, it will disappear; however, if it is adulterated with aluminium, it will become a small ball.

Here's how to check adulteration in vegetables.

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