Paneer is an excellent source of protein especially for vegetarians who do not get their intake from meat products. It is also a rich source of selenium and potassium & calcium.
The manufacture of paneer involves standardization of milk, heat treatment, coagulation, draining of whey, pressing, dipping in chilled water and packaging.
Paneer should be packed in clean and suitable food- grade packet/wrapper that can protect its flavour and smell and not let it get contaminated. Only food-grade packaging conforming to the relevant Indian Standard should be used.
The adulterated paneer blocks are made by heating a mixture of milk powder, palmolein oil, Glyceryl Monostearate (GMS) powder (an emulsifier used in making cakes)and milk.The GMS powder is added to soften the dough that is later sold as paneer.A report in a national daily,dated 7th October,2018 revealed the extent of adulteration in branded companies.
During the inspection, the FDA authority got milk packets of branded companies like Amul, Mahananda, Govardhan which were found adulterated. According to the officials, the milk packets were found tampered with.
However,paneer sold in open market is adulterated by the local vendors using horrific ingredients. They make paneer from a mixture of maida, palm oil, baking powder, old discarded skimmed milk, including use of detergent, bicarbonate of soda and sulphuric acid.This has assumed rampant proportions with entire villages devoted to this adulteration business.
Checking for Paneer adulteration at home:
Physical test: Pure paneer is soft and can withstand pressure. So when you apply pressure on it with your hands, adulterated paneer would break into small pieces, indicating the presence of baking soda.
Chemical test: Boil a paneer sample with some water, cool and then add a few drops of Iodine solution. If the colour changes to blue, starch is present.
So the next time you are buying paneer stay alert & cautious as eating spurious Paneer can lead to serious health hazards.