How Real Are Your Spices?

This article is authored by Dr. Shweta U. Shah. A practicing homeopath, she follows a patient-centred perspective, emphasizing the benefits of natural remedies and herbs, homeopathy and whole food nutrition.

Spices enliven your tastebuds and make your dish come alive! Additionally, they provide an extraordinary list of anti-oxidants, phytonutrients, essential oils, vitamins and minerals which are vital for good health. They lend a rich flavour to our recipes without adding any calories, sugar and they proffer potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial properties! Thus, it is very vital that you opt for the best and genuine spices.

Besides quality and the age of the spice, there's a menacing reason why your spices may have a less flavour profile than you'd like — they're not real. Scary, but true. In fact, fake spices are a huge danger in the spice business. Certain spices are more likely to be adulterated than others and it is very crucial that you ensure that you are buying the real stuff.

Buy authentic spices


The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has set out regulatory rules which helps direct buyers on how they can circumvent buying adulterated spices. The guidelines tell us how to make sure that the spices are not adulterated; and also present important points which need to be kept in mind whilst shopping for spices. Buying powdered spices in the loose form i.e. unbranded packets has been strictly prohibited by the FSSAI on account of the high likelihood of it being spurious. Furthermore, you must always check whether the powdered spices have the AGMARK logo and certification.


Haldi is made from a root resembling the ginger. It is a fabulous spice and lends an amazing flavour to the dishes; importantly, the spice proffers remarkable health benefits as well. Curcumin – the active principle of turmeric is a dynamic free radical scavenger and a robust anti-inflammatory agent. If the turmeric powder is a fake, it cannot provide us with these wonderful benefits. Experts say that turmeric is very often adulterated with a yellow dye that isn't permitted for human consumption and can be seriously toxic. Adulterated haldi is also known to contain starch and lead.

Black Pepper

Black pepper is so very common that is rather impossible to not identify a fraud, but ground black pepper is known to be adulterated. Sometimes pounded papaya seeds are added to the black pepper powder. They have a similar spicy flavour and, fortunately, are not a health hazard, but they do not contain the health benefits attributed to pepper.


Eat Breakfast

Chilli powder is also known to contain dyes, lead, and other colour additives. These add-ons can have a detrimental impact on our health and need to be strictly avoided.

When it comes to spices, buying authentic ones does tend to cost a little more, but it's good to know that you are getting what you're paying for and that you are keeping dangerous additives at bay. If you are shopping for powdered spices, ensure that you check for the FSSAI mark. You can buy spices, powders and spice blends from reputed brands such as Tata Sampann to be sure of the quality. Tata Sampann spices have their natural oils intact, they are picked from the best farms, and incorporating them into your food adds authenticity and goodness! They are carefully hand-picked and are cleaned and sorted using advanced technology. Spice blends, spice powders and masalas are scientifically processed and hygienically packaged to retain the natural goodness of the condiment.

Considering the health benefits that authentic spices can have and the high amount of spices in our daily foods, it is extremely important to pay attention to the quality and authenticity of your spices. Next time you go grocery shopping, keep your health in mind and pick the purest option available to you.


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Chilli-powderDr. shwetaDr. shweta u. shahIns_spicesSpicesTurmeric-powder