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How to Identify Fake ‘Paneer’ At Home? 3 Simple Tests

The market has been flooded with adulterated 'paneer' over the past few years, becoming a cause of concern. Here are a few simple tricks to check the authenticity of cottage cheese.

How to Identify Fake ‘Paneer’ At Home? 3 Simple Tests

For vegetarians, paneer (cottage cheese) is touted to be one of the best sources of protein and forms an important part of the daily diet. However, consumers are turning wary about buying this soft cheese due to reports of adulteration. 

In April 2024, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) tests found that 47 out of 168 paneer and khoya products were contaminated. Earlier this year, a whopping 1,300 kg of fake paneer was discovered and disposed of by authorities along the Mumbai-Delhi Expressway. 

This is just the tip of the iceberg of many such ‘contaminated’ and ‘synthetic’ paneer in the market.

In all this, how do you understand whether the paneer you’ve purchased is fake or real? Here are three simple steps to alleviate your worries:

1. Iodine Test

Take a pan and boil paneer in it. Add a few drops of iodine tincture to the boiled paneer. If it turns blue, it’s artificial. If it retains its colour, it’s pure.

2. The Dal Test

Let the boiled paneer cool in water. Add some toor dal to the water and let it rest for 10 minutes. If the water turns light red, the paneer may be contaminated. If the colour doesn’t change, go ahead and enjoy your paneer.

3. The Texture & Taste Test

When you buy paneer, you can simply try and smell (shouldn’t smell sour) it first. If it’s sold open, taste it. It should taste milky and be soft. If it’s too chewy or like rubber, you should refrain from buying it.

`Edited by Padmashree Pande.

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