Your Vegetables Could Be Adulterated With Deadly Dyes: How To Check at Home

How to check if the sweet potato, peas, green vegetables and the watermelon you are consuming is safe.

You have read about adulteration in milk, pulses, and even packaged foods, but what about fruits and vegetables? In this article, we bring to you five vegetables that could be adulterated, and we also mention ways by which you can find that out.

Sweet Potato

This is one vegetable that is highly prone to adulteration. An industrial dye, Rhodamine B, which is not permitted to be added to food the world over, is sometimes used to get the sweet potato its colour. You can follow these steps to determine whether or not it is adulterated.

How to check?

  • Take a cotton ball soaked in water or vegetable oil
  • Take a sweet potato
  • Then rub the outer surface of the sweet potato with the cotton ball
  • The cotton ball rubbed on the unadulterated sweet potato does not change colour
  • The cotton ball rubbed on the adulterated sweet potato turns reddish-violet.

Green Vegetables

Vegetables like lady’s finger, spinach, and even other greens can be laced with Malachite Green, which is an organic compound used as a dyestuff. The toxicity of this dye increases with exposure time, temperature, and concentration. It has been reported to cause carcinogenesis amongst other ailments.

How to check?

  • Take a cotton ball soaked in liquid paraffin
  • Take a lady finger
  • Rub/dab the outer green surface of a small part of the lady’s finger
  • The cotton ball rubbed on the unadulterated lady’s finger does not change colour
  • The cotton ball rubbed on the adulterated lady’s finger turns green.


Watermelon could sometimes be adulterated with a compound called Erythrosine, which is a pink dye primarily used for food coloring. Consuming too much of this could cause a health hazard.

How to check?

  • Cut the watermelon into two halves
  • Take a cotton ball and rub it in the inner succulent part of the watermelon
  • The cotton ball rubbed on an unadulterated watermelon does not change colour
  • The cotton ball rubbed on an adulterated watermelon part will turn red

Green Peas

Green peas could also be adulterated with artificial colouring and a simple test will determine whether or not that is the case.

How to check?

  • Take some green peas in a transparent glass
  • Add some water to the glass
  • Let it rest for half an hour
  • If the green peas are unadulterated then the water will remain clear
  • If the green peas are adulterated the water will turn green

If you know of any other kind of adulteration, do write in to us and let us know.

(Edited by Vinayak Hegde)

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