1. Health & Lifestyle

How to Check Presence of “Cancer Causing Adulterant – Malachite Green” in Vegetables?

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Green Vegetables

Most of the vegetables available in market today, are adulterated. It is difficult to find out whether the fresh, green vegetables that you just bought from the market are tainted or not as the difference between real and adulterated blurs. But, it's very important to find the right one as the consumption of adulterated vegetable leads to a lot of severe health issues, and also have carcinogenic effects.

In case you just bought some healthy greens and are now wondering how to check the purity of vegetables, we’ve discussed a simple trick shared by FSSAI to identify malachite green adulteration in green veggies.

What is Malachite Green?

Malachite Green, a textile dye, has been used extensively as an antiprotozoal and antifungal medication for fish. According to britannica.com, malachite green is additionally referred to as aniline green, benzaldehyde green, or china green. They are essentially used for medication in a dilute solution for local antiseptic.

The website also mentions, “Malachite green is effective against fungi and gram-positive bacteria. In the fish-breeding industry, it has been used to control the fungus Saprolegnia that kills the eggs and young fry".

“It controls fungal attacks, protozoan infections, and some other diseases caused by helminths on a wide variety of fish and other aquatic organisms,” it reads.

Not just in the aquaculture sector, malachite green is also used in the production of chilies, peas, and spinach. They use it to make the vegetables look lush, green & fresh.

Why is it Dangerous?

As per National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), the toxicity of dye increases with the passage time, temperature and concentration. It also causes serious issues like carcinogenesis, mutagenesis, teratogenicity, chromosomal fractures, and respiratory which are extremely toxic.

How to Detect Malachite Green in Vegetables?

FSSAI has now found a way to help us to detect malachite green adulteration in green vegetables. With these steps, we can identify and differentiate between adulterated vegetables and unadulterated vegetables.

FSSAI posted a video on Twitter to generate awareness among the people about the dangerous ill-effects of malachite green. Let’s do a very simple test as suggested:

  • Take a cotton piece soaked in liquid paraffin.

  • Rub the outer green surface of the green vegetables.

  • If there's no change in color observed on the cotton piece, it is unadulterated. If the cotton piece turns green, it's adulterated.

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