A saucy affair

A saucy affair
Highlights

A saucy affair, ‘fake’ sauce, fake tomato, chilli and soya sauces, Mehtilal Kumawat. The police seized 14 drums which contained 200 litres of sauce each and 1500 five litre cans of sauce.

Three held for making ‘fake’ sauce

Police seized 14 drums and 1500 cans of sauce

On Wednesday, the Hyderabad Police’s Special Operations Team (SOT) along with the Uppal Police, busted a trio involved in the making and selling of fake tomato, chilli and soya sauces from their house. The trio namely, Mehtilal Kumawat, Jagadish and Ghanshyam, who belonged to Rajasthan, took up a house in Kalyanpuri Colony, Uppal, and was selling spurious sauces made of chemical solutions

The next time you have a hankering for baked goods from your local bakery or some Chinese food from the ‘bandi’ next door, be sure you know whatsauce comes along with it. On Wednesday, the Hyderabad Police’s Special Operations Team (SOT) along with the Uppal Police, busted a trio involved in the making and selling of fake tomato, chilli and soya sauces from their house. The trio namely, Mehtilal Kumawat, Jagadish and Ghanshyam, who belonged to Rajasthan, took up a house in Kalyanpuri Colony, Uppal, and began selling chemical solutions under the garb of sauces.

“The sauces that they made were basically a concoction of colouring agents, sodium benzoate, acetic acid, Mono-Sodium Glutamate (MSG) and cornstarch. The SOT had received a tip-off from a source and in coordination with the food inspector of the area, the raid was conducted,” said Laxmi Kantha Reddy, inspector, Uppal Police Station.

The police seized 14 drums which contained 200 litres of sauce each and 1500 five litre cans of sauce. The trio were immediately taken into custody. Apart from their produce, the police also seized the chemicals and cooking materials that were used to make the sauce along with a trolley which was used to supply the sauces. All the seized materials have been sent to the Forensic Science Laboratory for further testing.

Mahender, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (DMC), Uppal, said, “The trio were functioning without proper permit or sanctions in a residential area. Also the consumables that they were producing were completely substandard. People can fall seriously-ill if they had continued to consume such food.”

According to the police, the sauces were supplied to a few well-known bakeries and 80 prominent Chinese fast food centres across the city. It was sold at a rock-bottom price. One could buy a 5kg can of sauce for a meagre price of Rs 72.

The materials that were used and the conditions in which the sauces were being prepared, were abysmal. Ironically no tomatoes or natural ingredients were used in the process. The taste and colour of the produce was left to the chemicals. Vinegar was used to give tang to the sauce and MSG for taste enhancement. All these chemicals can cause various types of diseases which are also cancer-causing agents.

Mono-Sodium Glutamate - MSG, also popularly known as Ajinomoto, is a taste enhancer traditionally used in Chinese food. Glutamate is a naturally occurring amino acid that the body uses and needs. The synthetic manipulation and processing of glutamate produces a chemical compound that is not found in nature. Researchers have said that MSG is an excitotoxin because it is thought to have the ability to overstimulate cells to death. Many people link headaches, poor attention and other symptoms as well as diseases like fibromyalgia, to MSG intake.

Sodium Benzoate - Sodium benzoate is a salt that occurs naturally in some foods, but is also widely used as a chemical preservative. It is used mainly as a food preservative, but is also found in cosmetics, dyes, pharmaceuticals, industrial settings. When combined with vitamin C or citric acid( which is another major ingredient of sauce) the preservative converts to benzene, a carcinogen reported to cause leukemia, DNA damage, damage to mitochondria in cells, cell death and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Cornstarch - This starch is used as a thickening agent to give the sauce its consistency. But the issue of weight gain has been one major concern with regular cornstarch consumption. It has been rumoured that cornstarch is used to fatten up animals, such as pigs or cattle, before slaughter. Given that it is used as a thickening agent, weight gain is a side effect.

Vinegar - Vinegar may adversely impact your potassium levels. You may also experience an allergic reaction to vinegar, including symptoms such as swelling, hives and difficulty breathing. Apple cider vinegar may aggravate indigestion and heartburn.

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