Saturday, 25 June 2022
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Scientific Journey Of Forgery

Last year there was an epidemic peak in India, so people started using honey a lot to boost immunity, which led to a huge increase in demand. Indian institution "Center for Science and Environment" took samples of honey and tested in a German laboratory. Out of the thirteen honey of ten companies, including India's most famous brand Dabur, was found to be counterfeit or adulterated.

Jaggery and sugar often contain sucrose, which is easy to identify by its texture and taste, or by simple chemical analysis. For this reason, those who blended honey soon started using golden syrup and inverted sugar syrup instead of sugar or raw sugar. Golden syrup is a liquid obtained by purifying the syrup formed during the process of making sugar.

The sweetness comes from glucose and fructose instead of sucrose. Similarly, in the presence of an enzyme invertebrates, sugar is heated to a certain temperature for a specified period of time to obtain inverted sugar syrup. Remember that this same enzyme is also produced by bees and accumulates in nectar along with nectar obtained from fruits.

The two compounds, Golden Syrup and Inverted Sugar Syrup, are chemically similar to each other, but also chemically similar to honey. Therefore, when fake honey is made from these compounds, or when they are mixed in it, their identification is not possible by simple chemical method.

Similarly, a chemical mixture is made from corn flour which is called corn syrup. There are many types of it. One type of high fructose corn syrup is very similar to honey in terms of sweetness and chemistry, and they continued to be sold, but at the end of the day, the latest knowledge and technology was used to capture the mixture.

Plants around the world make their food, glucose, in two ways. These methods divide plants into two types. One group is called C3 and the other group is called C4. Corn and sugarcane fall into the C4 group. The sugar or all compounds obtained, including golden syrup, inverted sugar syrup and high fructose corn syrup.

To test C3 or C4, carbon isotope test or carbon test is used. Fortunately, the bees that make honey by sucking the fruit are all from the C3 group, while all sweeteners used for this blend are sweet. C4 used to come, so with the help of this test, the honey made from sugarcane and corn sweeteners became very easy to identify and thus this journey of the counterfeiter became difficult again.

The solution to this problem is obtained by the counterfeiters in the form of rice sugar syrup. Brown rice syrup is obtained from the action of various bacteria and enzymes on the cooked rice which is then boiled and thickened to form honey. Belonging to the C3 group, this sweet solution made from rice was used as a mixture of honey, making it impossible to detect it by carbon test.

Thus, once again, the forgers won. On the other hand, they invented a new type of test to test rice syrup. These tests are called SMR Specific Marker for Rice Syrup test, also called a trace marker for rice syrup, this test did not make it possible to use rice syrup as honey.

But this journey of counterfeiting has not stopped yet. A few days ago, I saw an advertisement of a Chinese company in which it claimed a syrup that can pass C3 carbon test and SMR, TMR etc. Apparently, they have made glucose fructose syrup from a plant other than rice. Testing is now possible only with a very expensive and advanced machine nuclear magnetic resonance NMR.

Some research institutes in Pakistan have NMR machines, I don't know whether these institutes test honey or not. To be obtained from sources only.