The unit price gives a fair idea about the cheapest and costliest brands.
Protein- Lab Results
Fat/oil is an essential part of our diet, being a main source of energy. However, when eaten in large amounts, all fats, including healthy fats, can contribute to weight gain.
Protein amount was found highest in Fun Foods and lowest in Cremica.
- American Garden declared ‘zero gram’ protein in five grams on the label – this is misleading for consumers.
- Protein in two brands, Goodcare and Ektaa, was found very less compared to the amount claimed on the label. In the case of Weikfield, protein was found more than the amount claimed on label.
Total Soluble Solids (on salt-free basis)
These are the solids that are dissolved in mustard sauce. A common soluble solid is sugar (natural and added both). There is no method to test natural and added sugar separately. As per FSS Regulations, total soluble solids shall be not less than eight per cent (on salt-free basis) in culinary sauce.
- Total soluble solids in American Garden was found slightly less than the prescribed legal limit.
- Total soluble solids was found more than the prescribed legal limit in all the other brands. Weikfield had the highest amount at 15.67 per cent.
Acidity (as Acetic Acid)
Acetic acid or vinegar is added in mustard sauce for acidity. Acidity gives taste to the sauce and also works as a preservative. If acidity (acetic acid) is lower than the minimum limit, microbes will begin to grow, allowing contamination of the product and reducing its shelf life. As per FSS Regulations, acidity (as acetic acid) content should be not less than one per cent in culinary sauce.
- Acidity (as acetic acid) was above the prescribed limit in all brands.
Preservative (Benzoic Acid)
Benzoic acid is a most widely used food preservative; the presence of preservative generally increases the shelf life of the product and prevents the deterioration of nutritional values, taste and odour, and microbial contamination. As per FSS Regulations, benzoic acid should not be more than 750 ppm (parts per million) in culinary sauce. The regulations make it mandatory for brands to declare any added preservative on the label. Since a higher quantity of preservative is not desirable, lower is better for consumers.
- No preservative (benzoic acid) was found in American Garden and Fun Foods. These brands have also not declared the presence of any preservative on the label. This is good for consumers.
- In all other brands, sodium benzoate was found below the prescribed legal limit.
Yeast and Mould
Yeast and mould are responsible for many types of food spoilage before and during processing. A high count of these in the finished food product indicates poor hygienic conditions at the manufacturing point. As per FSS Regulations, yeast and mould shall not be more than 100 counts per gram in culinary sauce.
- In all brands yeast and mould was found less than 10 counts per gram. This means all brands are safe for human consumption.
The following information shall be clearly and indelibly marked on the label of each container/ packet as per Food Safety and Standards (Packaging and Labelling) Regulations and Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules:
- Name of the product
- Trade name, if any
- Name and address of manufacturer/importer
- Batch or code number
- Net quantity in grams
- Ingredients in descending order
- Month and year of manufacture
- The words ‘Best before’ (month and year to be indicated)
- Nutritional information
- FSSAI license number
- Green dot indicating vegetarian status and red dot for non-vegetarian
- Storage information
- Maximum Retail Price (MRP)
- Customer-care details
As per Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, every package shall bear the name, address, telephone number, and email address, if available, of the person who can be – or the office that can be – contacted in case of consumer complaints.