Silver foils on sweets have come under the scanner of Food and Drug Administration and civic health officials.
FDA joint commissioner Sanjay Patil said they had collected samples from sweet shops to check the purity of silver foils as the aluminium content in them was harmful. We want to find out whether these foils are genuine or contaminated… Silver foil is not harmful,but its contamination is a cause of concern.
He said the FDA officials had found adulterated silver foils during inspection,though not in large measure. Of the total samples collected,we found aluminium contamination in at least 10 per cent cases. Aluminium is harmful,but how much of it is ok,we cant say.
RR Pardeshi,medical officer of Pune Municipal Corporation,said they were aware of the adulterated silver foils and had initiated necessary action. In October,we have taken as many as 89 samples to check adulteration in sweets. Before that,we had filed cases against shops selling sweets with contaminated silver coating. He said the civic body would consult with the FDA and carry out an awareness campaign.
The health department of Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation is also seized of the matter. We have collected samples from four shops. These samples have been sent to the public health lab to check the level of contamination, PCMC health officer Nagkumar Kunachgi said,adding that they had seized at least 66 kg adulterated sweets from shops across the town.
Saroj Trading Company,which supplies silver foils to over 100 sweet shops in the city,claimed that they supplied only pure and guaranteed products. Our silver foils are hundred per cent pure and FDA-approved. The FDA from time to time collects our samples and verifies for authenticity, proprietor Kamal Purana said. Only smaller shops generally use adulterated foils as pure silver foils are costly. A packet of 80 silver leaves costs Rs 210.
The FDA,Purana said,should concentrate on smaller shops and those located on the fringes of city and beyond. Outside the city,99 per cent sweet shops use contaminated silver foils.
Sanjay Agarwal of Pradeep Sweets,Chinchwad,said,Not all sweets have silver coatings. Actually,there are some customers who wont buy if there are no silver-coated sweets.
A shop owner said an impure foil gets rolled into a mass on rubbing with fingers,while the genuine foil virtually disappears.