When Hariom had an Unpleasant Acquaintance with Fake Saffron
Saffron (Kesar) is a valuable culinary ingredient which has immense medicinal properties. This little spice is no less than a magic in winters. Hari Om Sharma is a firm believer in traditional medicines and avoids allopathic medicines as much as possible. He has strong faith on Saffron and makes it a point to consume it in any form especially in winters.
He has been purchasing the same for many years now and is totally aware of the packaging and contents of the bottle. Now, it happened so that he purchased an MDH saffron from a grocery store. On reaching home, he observed it closely and noticed that the hologram on the bottle was different from the holograms on the previously consumed bottles.
He immediately took out the old bottle and compared it to the new bottle and he was right! The holograms were different on the packaging. Though not a big thing and anybody could have ignored it easily. But somehow, it instilled a sense of doubt in Hari Om’s mind and he wanted to be fully sure before consuming the contents of the bottle.
He knew that products like holograms cannot be changed overnight as the process is lengthy and requires special techniques and a team of experts.
He called up the company and got in touch with the concerned department. He then asked them if they have adopted new holograms on the Saffron packaging? The answer came in disapproval and the executive informed about the details of the holograms still in use.
Hari Om’s doubts were right, the recently purchased saffron was counterfeit and had fake holograms. He informed the company personnel who was shocked and assured that they would take urgent and necessary actions to stop the selling of fake saffron in the market.
He then went to the shop from where he had purchased the fake saffron. The shopkeeper was startled on the observation and started acting differently and did not agree that he was selling counterfeit saffron.
When Hari Om remained resolute and immovable on his statement, the shopkeeper finally agreed that majority of the stores are selling this saffron only and also agreed to refund the money.
Products like Security Holograms, Security Labels, Tax stamps, Hot Stamping Foil, Shrink Sleeves etc. are used to authenticate brands and products and to combat counterfeiting. But if these products will be counterfeited, how do the consumers identify?
Hari Om was quite vigilant and identified the discrepancy in no time but not everybody can do that. So, when in doubt, cross-check with the manufacturer or observe the security products or solutions carefully. The holograms will have an array of security features made by sophisticated technologies which are very hard for counterfeiters to replicate. Also, the companies should make sure to use highly secured anti-counterfeiting products and solutions to safeguard their products which are impossible to replicate.
(Based on inputs from Hariom Sharma, Resident, West Delhi)