Thrissur: Adulteration is increasingly becoming common in fritter snacks like parippuvada and uzhunnuvada that are sold in the city’s tea shops, bakeries and thattukadas (wayside makeshift eateries). Shopkeepers procure them for sale, keeping higher profits in mind only because they are available to them for as low as Rs 2 or 3.
Maida is used instead of black gram for preparing uzhunnuvada, and green peas powder is used in place of gram flour in bajji. Low quality lentils are used for making parippuvada.
Vada and bajji of excellent quality, which have all ingredients in the right mixture are made available to shops at the wholesale price of Rs 5. When these are sold at Rs 8 and 10, they rake in decent profit too. However, shops eyeing unscrupulous profits are the ones who buy vada and bajji at Rs 3 for sale purposes.
This spells doom for those groups who prepare and sell good quality vada and bajji. Workers including those from outside the state are employed to deliver adulterated snacks to the city’s shops.
If a kilogram of gram flour costs around Rs 100, green peas powder comes for Rs 40. This is the reason for using green peas powder instead of gram flour in bajji. Bengal gram is expensive. By using maida in its place in uzhunnuvada, unnatural profits are raked in.
The gram used in making uzhunnuvada costs anywhere between Rs 125 to 140 a kilogram. Oil, green chillies and ginger are additionally required. A kilogram of gram will yield at the most 40 uzhunnuvadas. Selling this vada for Rs 3 does not even help recover the cost of gram. Hence they resort to the tactic of adding maida. Yeast and Eno salt are added to the maida to condition it for vada making.
Oil pilfered out of hotels is used
Well run hotels do not have the practice of reusing cooking oil that is once used. A racket operates through which unscrupulous elements enter into a tie-up with the hotel kitchen runners and buy the used oil for a throwaway price and use the same for making snacks. Most of them carry out their preparations after taking small portions of houses on rent.
From gas trouble to ulcer
Experts warn that low quality vada and cutlet delivered for Rs 3 a piece poses serious health hazards. Intake of these food items will lead to diseases including gas trouble, mouth ulcer and intestinal ulcer. Even though such business is rampant in Sakthan stand surroundings and nearby areas of the city, neither the food safety department nor the Corporation’s health department has bothered to make inspections.