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No Fear No Favour

Are Indian Sweet Syrups adulterated?

By Ishank Katyal

As per the reports by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), top Indian honey producing giants like Dabur, Emami and Patanjali are found adulterated with modified sugar. The report claims that the leading honey brands have failed in the adulterated test carried out by a foreign laboratory.

However, the leading brands have denied such reports and called them baseless and malicious and they are not following the guidelines of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI).

The CSE investigation revealed that these companies have mixed the naturally acquired honey from bees with sugar syrup produced from rice, corn, beetroot, and sugarcane and forwarded them as pure. It was also cited in the report that almost all the honey manufacturers in Indian markets are adulterated with sugar syrup.


The honey brands passed the tests of purity when first tested at the Centre for Analysis and Learning in Livestock and Food (CALF) at the National Dairy Development Brand (NDDB) in Gujarat.

But after they got tested using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) laboratory tests to check the presence of sugar syrups, the big and small brands failed as per the reports.

  • 77% of the samples were found adulterated with added sugar syrup.
  • Only 5 out of 22 samples passed the tests.
  • Honey samples are from the leading brands like Dabur, Patanjali, Baidyanath, Zandu, Hitkari and Apis Himalaya failed the NMR tests.
  • Only 3 out of 13 brands like Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature’s Nectar cleared all the tests.

In an email statement to Business Insider, Dabur said that the recent reports “seem motivated and aimed at maligning our brand. We assure our customers that Dabur Honey is 100% pure. It is 100% indigenous, collected naturally from Indian sources and packed with no added sugar or other adulterants.”

Zandu Pure Honey manufacturer Emami also stated that “honey conforms and adheres to all the protocols and quality norms/standards laid down by the Government of India and its authorized entities such as FASSAI.”

Patanjali chairman Acharya Balkrishan called the report “a plot to defame Indian natural honey industry.” He also said that it might be the way to promote German technology in India.

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