Simple tips to ensure your jaggery is chemical-free
Considered to be a healthy alternative to sugar, jaggery or gur is often used to sweeten dishes in Indian households. But with so many varieties of jaggery available in the market, how can one pick the best — which is unadulterated and chemical-free?
Chef Pankaj Bhadouria, who keeps sharing useful kitchen hacks on her Instagram page, recently posted a short clip in which she suggested simple tips to ascertain jaggery’s purity.
“To clean jaggery, soda and some chemicals are used. Ideally the colour of the jaggery should be dark brown. The white or yellowish colour in gur may indicate chemical treatment,” explained Bhadouria.
As per the chef, white or light brown jaggery might be adulterated using chemicals and artificial colours. These include calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate. Calcium carbonate is added while processing jaggery to increase the weight, while sodium bicarbonate helps give a polished look.
She also said jaggery that is dark brown or black, is chemical-free, and is thus, the most organic, chemical-free gur. This is because sugarcane juice when boiled provides dark brown or black jaggery. But when chemicals are added to treat it, it becomes more whiter in appearance, she mentioned.
Some other ways to test impurities in jaggery are
*The taste of jaggery should not be salty, or bitter, said Dr Shikha Sharma in her YouTube channel. *There should not be any sugar crystals. Crystallisation is done to add more sweetness to jaggery *If a small part is dissolved in water, the chalk powder should settle down if adulterated.
It must, however, be noted that jaggery and refined sugar contain the same amount of calories, but gur is also rich in nutrients like calcium, zinc, iron, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamin B provided it is organic.