Diwali, the festival of lights, is a time for celebration, and happiness. It is a time to cherish with your loved ones. As it approaches closer the aroma of delectable sweets fills the air. Among the several varieties of traditional Indian sweets, mawa also known as khoya sweets holds a special place in our hearts. Nonetheless, it is critical to be aware of the possible risks associated with mawa adulteration.
By understanding mawa adulteration and following the guidelines, you can make informed choices when buying sweets. Opting for reputable sweet shops, checking labels, inquiring about preparation methods, requesting tastings, and being aware of shelf life recommendations are steps towards ensuring the sweets you enjoy are made from fresh and authentic mawa. Prioritizing quality over quantity will not only enhance your festive experience but also safeguard your health and well-being.
Aman J Jain, CEO and Co-Founder, Doodhvale helps us understand the most frequent adulterants in mawa along with essential tips on how to ensure that the sweets you are enjoying are prepared from pure, fresh mawa.
Understanding Mawa Adulteration – Common Adulterants in Mawa
Mr Jain shares, Mawa, a crucial ingredient in many Indian sweets, is prepared by reducing milk to a thick, solid form. However, unscrupulous practices have led to the adulteration of mawa with harmful substances.
“Common adulterants like starch, vegetable fats, blotting paper, and chalk powder, are often added to mawa to cut costs and mimic authenticity. Starch increases bulk, chalk powder imitates appearance but reduces nutrition, and vegetable fats alter texture but compromise taste. Additionally, in milk products like khoya and chenna, starch (from potatoes or sweet potatoes) is commonly added. Milk may also be adulterated with water, detergent, or urea. In sweets, vanaspati is sometimes used instead of ghee, and blotting paper may be added to sweet curd and rabri,” Jain said.
How To Ensure Sweets Are Prepared From Fresh Mawa?
Mr Jain shares the following tips:
Opt for Reputable Sweet Shops
When it comes to buying sweets, sticking to old and trusted shops is often a safe bet. Established sweet shops have a reputation to uphold, and they are more likely to prioritize quality and authenticity over shortcuts for profit.
Checking Ingredients and Labels
Always take a moment to read the ingredient list on the packaging. Authentic mawa-based sweets will list ‘milk solids’ or ‘khoya’ as a primary ingredient. Avoid sweets with vague or misleading ingredient labels.
Inquiring About Preparation Methods
Don’t hesitate to ask the sweet shop owner or staff about their preparation methods. Reputable shops will be transparent about their processes and may even proudly share their traditional techniques for making fresh mawa.
Requesting a Tasting of Different Sweets
If you’re uncertain about a particular sweet, ask for a small sample before making a purchase. This way, you can assess the taste, texture, and quality of the mawa used, if you are buying raw mawa from the sweet shop. You can check the purity of mawa using a simple method as mawa has an oily and grainy texture. It’s a bit sweeter in taste and leaves traces of grease and oil when rubbed on your palm.
Knowing the Shelf Life for Freshness of Particular Sweets
Freshness is a crucial factor in determining the quality of mawa-based sweets. Inquire about the recommended shelf life for specific sweets. Fresher sweets are more likely to be made from genuine, unadulterated mawa.
The Health Risks of Adulterated Sweets
“Consuming adulterated mawa can pose serious health risks. Adulterants like starch and flour lack the nutritional value of authentic mawa, and some may even contain harmful substances causing food poisoning in common. Long-term consumption of adulterated sweets can result in various health issues like digestive problems, nutritional deficiencies, kidney congestion, etc,” Jain said.