Supply of spurious food items on the decline in Valley

Hem Dulal

Kathmandu, April 20:

The supply of spurious products in the Valley is decreasing, according to a recent report of the Department of Food Technology and Quality Control (DFTQC).

In its annual report, the department said only 7.3 per cent of the total edible items were substandard compared to 10.6 per cent in the 2002-03. The percentage of substandard goods was 13.5 in 2001-02 and 16 in 2000-01.

Dairy products have topped the list of adulterated edibles with 76.9 per cent followed by animal ghee with 53.9 per cent. In the last year’s report it was vegetable ghee that topped the list with 66.67 per cent of adulteration. The department found 64 out of 876 samples of different food items adulterated or below the standard.

Jiwan Prabha Lama, senior food research officer, said consumers’ awareness was the main reason behind decrease in the supply of spurious goods in the market.

The DFTQC has divided the Valley into 10 clusters to make regular monitoring easy — six in Kathmandu and two each in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur. “The clusters have been divided into 48 sub-clusters in Kathmandu, 15 in Lalitpur and 16 in Bhaktapur,” the report said.

Lama said adulteration is not a serious problem in the country now, as it is on the decline.

Out of 13 samples of milk collected from the market, 10 were found substandard and seven of the 13 samples of animal ghee were not up to the standard. The report said biscuits, tea, bread, salt, rice, pepper, turmeric powder and bengal gram were up to the standard.