BSTI to conduct 'hydrose' test on sugar samples
Sugar available in the market must be completely free from 'hydrose' as it is extremely harmful to human health and from now on, Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institution (BSTI) will conduct tests to detect the presence of 'hydrose' in sugar.
An eleven-member expert committee headed by Director of Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST) Dr KM Formuzul Huque took the decision at a meeting yesterday.
The meeting was held at the Bangladesh Council for Science and Industrial Research (BCSIR). The committee members included representatives from BSTI, BCSIR, Department of Public Health, Department of Food and the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC).
Recently, the BCSIR found the presence of high level of Hydrose, a substance used for bleaching textile cloths, in sugar imported from India.
Earlier, the BSTI conducted nine types of test on sugar samples, but there was no provision for tests to detect the presence of hydrose.
Talking to The Daily Star, IFST Director Dr KM Formuzul Huque said that they have tested 13 samples of Indian sugar and found the 220ppm Hydrose in these samples.
They also tested six samples of Bangladeshi sugar, but did not find any presence of hydrose, he said.
Experts, however, said hydrose is used in the production of plantation white sugar but it evaporates at the end of the production process.
Prof ABM Faruk of pharmacy department at Dhaka University said that if residue of hydrose remains in sugar, it would have fatal impact on human health, especially on children and pregnant women.
Consumption of sugar with hydrose would cause hyper acidity and prolonged use of such sugar would lead to ulcer and fatal disease like cancer.
Normally sugar with hydrose looks whiter, Prof Faruk said, adding that local sugar having no hydrose looks reddish or brownish.
Director General of BSTI Md Azmal Hossain said since most consignments of Indian sugar come into Bangladesh through land ports, sugar samples would be sent to them for hydrose test.