Mustard oil a common ingredient in Indian kitchens and is used in preparing a variety of foods. But how do you check if the oil you are consuming is pure? MyGovIndia shared a simple hack to test whether the mustard oil in your kitchen is adulterated with argemone oil or not.
Argemone oil is extracted from argemone seeds. Reports have shown that it is often mixed with oil to increase the quantity. In humans, argemone oil contained in adulterated mustard oil can lead to what is known as epidemic dropsy, studies have shown. It causes “oxidative stress and death of red blood cells via met-hemoglobin formation by altering pyridine nucleotide(s) and glutathione redox potential,” according to a 2007 study published in the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling.
How to test if mustard oil is adulterated
MyGovIndia shared a video on Twitter to explain how to do the test:
* Take a sample of 5 ml mustard oil in a test tube.
* Add 5 ml of nitric acid to the test tube.
* Shake the tube gently. If the mustard oil is unadulterated, it will no show colour change in the acidic layer. In the case of adulterated mustard oil, an orange-yellow to red colour is developed in the acidic layer.
“Sanguinarine is a toxic polycyclic salt present in Argemone oil. The reaction is very sensitive and the intensity of colour formed is due to the formation of sanguinarine nitrate,” mentions the video.