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How To Check Adulteration in Turmeric Powder?

Turmeric, the golden, earthy-flavoured miracle spice, is an essential component in Indian cuisine. Turmeric has been the golden spice of Indian homes for decades and it has numerous health benefits.

But how can it be beneficial if it is contaminated, right?

Turmeric's efficacy is directly proportional to its purity. With ever increasing demand of turmeric all around the world, numerous cases of adulteration and impurity in turmeric powder have also come up.

If you're concerned about the authenticity of your turmeric powder, keep reading to learn how to detect adulteration in turmeric powder.

Turmeric: The Golden Spice

Turmeric is said to have originated in South East Asia approximately 5000 years ago. It is now consumed all around the world because of its nutritional value, flavour, and immunity-boosting effects. This wonder spice is ubiquitous, from being a culinary star to being used for wound healing.

High-quality turmeric's anti-inflammatory and aromatic qualities, particularly Lakadong turmeric from the Meghalaya foothills, are well known. This Lakadong turmeric powder includes 9 -12% curcumin extract, much higher than any other turmeric powder. 

turmeric the golden spice

But What Gives Turmeric Its Potency?

Curcumin, a significant component in turmeric, holds the key to its mystical qualities. Numerous studies on turmeric have revealed that curcumin is responsible for turmeric's multiple health advantages.

When spices like turmeric are sold in bulk, there is a good chance they will be contaminated. There have been several reports of turmeric powder adulteration, in which it has been heavily contaminated, robbing it of all of its curative properties.

Let’s take a look at what is adulteration in turmeric powder and how to determine the authenticity of turmeric.

Turmeric potency

So, What Exactly is Turmeric Adulteration?

Turmeric adulteration is done to enhance or change the texture and colour of turmeric powder gradually. Furthermore, numerous inorganic components boost the quantity of turmeric to maximize profits.

What Types of Chemical Adulterants Can Be Found in Turmeric?

Turmeric powder is easily contaminated by the addition of various chemical and organic substances, reducing the total potency and purity of turmeric.

Adulterants can take the shape of organic components, such as different wild species of turmeric, or chemicals, which are exceedingly hazardous to one's health.

Some organic contaminants added belong to the Curcuma species, similar to turmeric.

This may include:

  • Curcuma xanthorrhoea
  • Curcuma malabarica
  • Curcuma aromatica

The following are some examples of common inorganic chemical adulterants:

Metanil Yellow:

Metanil yellow is a popular adulterant used to improve the colour of turmeric powder. It is a very hazardous component that has been connected to a variety of health issues, including liver damage and an increased risk of cancer.

Sudan Red: 

Sudan Red is a widely used dye in the textile and plastic industries. To enhance the colour of commercial turmeric powder, various vendors illegally contaminated it with Sudan red. It is a very hazardous chemical component that raises the likelihood of DNA damage and cancer.

Lead Chromate: 

One of the most regularly employed inorganic compounds is lead chromate when we talk about adulteration in turmeric powder. It is a powerful oxidising agent that is yellow and is frequently used to enhance the quantity of turmeric since the colours are comparable. Lead chromate has several health risks, including lung damage, cancer, and DNA mutation.

types of adulterants in turmeric

6 Simple Methods for Checking for Adulteration in Turmeric Powder?

There are several methods for detecting adulteration in turmeric powder.

1. Visual Test: 

The most straightforward technique to detect turmeric is to examine the colours and texture. Pure turmeric is often a deep golden yellow colour. When tainted with contaminants, the colour fades and turns lighter to dull yellow. The Rooted Peepul Lakadong turmeric is easily recognisable by its vivid yellow colour.

2. Texture Test:

Another simple technique to check the authenticity of turmeric is to examine the texture of the turmeric powder. As opposed to adulterated turmeric, pure turmeric, such as Lakadong turmeric from Rooted Peepul, has a more refined and smoother texture. A simple test is to take a tiny bit of turmeric in your palms and rub them together. The authentic pure and adulterated turmeric will adhere to your hand and leave a yellow stain, but the contaminated turmeric will fall quickly and leave no coloured residue.

3. Solubility Test:

Dissolving turmeric in a glass of water is another turmeric adulteration test. When turmeric powder includes various contaminants, it forms a dark yellow stain that does not settle. The pure turmeric usually sinks to the bottom as a residue.

4. Testing for the presence of chalk powder: 

Turmeric powder is frequently adulterated by mixing in chalk powder to increase the quantity and use it as a filler. Natural chalk powder is calcium carbonate. Testing the turmeric powder with hydrochloric acid is a simple approach to detecting the presence of chalk powder. Take the turmeric and place it on a plate or spoon, then add water and hydrochloric acid. The formation of bubbles in the solution shows the presence of chalk powder, which is calcium carbonate.

5. Test for the presence of lead chromate:

An excellent turmeric adulteration test, to check the presence of lead chromate, is to mix turmeric powder with water. Because lead chromate is a coloured pigment, it dissolves easily in water and forms streaks of the coloured solution, which indicates the presence of lead in turmeric. 

6. Metanil Yellow Test: 

The presence of this specific component in turmeric powder can be determined using a simple hydrochloric acid test. Putting the turmeric powder in a test tube and adding a few drops of hydrochloric acid might reveal whether it is contaminated. The solution of turmeric powder containing metanil yellow becomes pink, suggesting the presence of Metanil yellow.

6 methods for checking for adulteration in turmeric powder

What are the Harmful Effects of Adulterated Turmeric powder? 

  • Long-term ingestion of contaminated turmeric powder has been linked to many health risks, including the development of cancer and internal organ damage. 
  • When ingested regularly, adulterated turmeric is highly carcinogenic and increases the risk of developing various cancers. 
  • Adulterated turmeric powder usage has also been linked to the development of many gastrointestinal diseases and long-term dyspepsia.

Why Rooted Peepul?

Rooted Peepul is known for producing only the highest quality Lakadong turmeric, 100% Natural. We believe in delivering the purest spices to our customers, and we go to great lengths to source the spices straight from the hills of Meghalaya.

Our excellent and authentic sources help us bring the most authentic Lakadong turmeric from the foothills of Meghalaya right into your kitchen.

healthiest turmeric


With Rooted Peepul, you can experience the benefits of pure Lakadong turmeric at the comfort of your home at a very reasonable and affordable price. 

With over ten quality inspections, you can ensure that every product we sell is authentic and free of adulteration or colouring agents. 

At Rooted Peepul, we NEVER compromise on quality!