Counterfeiting has camouflaged in our lives so well that it forms a major part of our daily chores before letting us realising it. Right from shoes, handbags, wallets, accessories, watches, clothes etc., we all own at least one counterfeit in our possessions.
While a fake handbag or a dress may just get you money loss and a bit of embarrassment on its discovery, but phoney food can be a real cause for concern!
Unknowingly, all of us are consuming seriously counterfeited foods which can be potentially dangerous to our mind as well as our bodies. The counterfeit FMCG products contain toxic substances that are just not meant for human consumption and might contain good levels of lead and melamine in it.
While the list of foods is very elaborate but we bring you some of the most commonly consumed counterfeit food items.
1. Coffee – If you are one of them who like making their own coffee by grinding coffee beans, there are fewer chances of you consuming the counterfeited version. But if you are the instant coffee person, you ought to be really careful with your coffee.
Your coffee might be containing twigs, coffee husks, burned sugar roasted corn, caramel, roasted barley, roasted soybeans, rye flour, chicory powder, potato flour, figs, glucose, maltodextrins etc.
2. Olive Oil – According to researchers, olive oil is extremely susceptible to counterfeiting. As olive oil is one of the most expensive oils in the world and therefore, it is mixed with inferior ingredients and sold at high rates giving huge profits to counterfeit manufacturers.
In major cases, instead of extra virgin, a cheaper, non-Italian variety is sold as Italian. But olive oil is also frequently diluted with oils such as sunflower oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, corn oil, peanut oil, hazelnut oil, palm oil and walnut oil.
In an incident, more than 600 Spaniards died in 1981 after eating a non-food-grade, industrial rapeseed oil that was sold as olive oil.
3. Orange Juice – There is no dearth of faux packed orange juices in the market. Orange juice is a staple breakfast for a major part of the young working population as they are too lazy to move their bones to make fresh juices.
They pick up packed juices without knowing that their juices contain sugar, corn sugar, ascorbic acid, potassium sulphate, monosodium glutamate, orange pulp wash, grapefruit solids and a lot of other dangerous preservatives.
4. Pomegranate juice – Pomegranate juice is another popular juice which is known to be loaded with high antioxidant content. The juice is consumed by a lot of people and a favourite of counterfeiters.
This juice is often diluted with grape or pear juice, sugar and high-fructose corn syrup. Many cases of synthetic pomegranate juice that didn’t contain any traces of the real juice at all.
If you are a regular consumer of the above-mentioned items, don’t worry. Just be a little more cautious the next time, you purchase and consume the same. Try and consume fresh home-made juices and buy from authentic vendors and merchants only. In comparison to the small brands, big brands have a lot to lose, hence, they refrain themselves from counterfeit activities. If possible, stick to the reputed brand and products.