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Adulteration of Ghee

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The market price of ghee is almost 3 times more than the price of edible vegetable oils/fats. The supply of ghee is also far short of its demand. These gaps between price and availability leads to several malpractices. Adulteration of ghee is more common malpractice in India because it will fetch more profit to the traders and also result into increased supply. Two types of adulterants are used in ghee:

  1. Vegetable oils/fats, and
  2. Animal body fat

The adulteration of ghee can start at the stage of milk itself. Water emulsion of coconut, groundnut and other cheap oils are added to milk or cream. On souring and churning, these transfer to butter, and thus on boiling of butter or cream pass on to ghee.

i. Adulteration with vegetable oils/fats

The analytical constants of ghee, as discussed in the unit 7, cover a very wide range, permitting fairly high degree of adulteration while still keeping the constants within normal limits. The feeding of various oil cakes or oilseeds and even starvation (under feeding) can also alter the individual analytical characteristics of ghee as to bring perfectly genuine (pure) samples under suspicion of adulteration. Those vegetable oils/fats whose analytical constants are close to ghee and butter oil cannot be detected visually are preferred for adulteration. Coconut oil approaches closest to ghee as far as analytical characteristics (high polenske value and low sponification value, iodine value and butyro refractometer reading). In respect of physical resemblance, hydrogenated fats (edible vanaspati), particularly groundnut, is most preferred. Its melting point is slightly below 37oC, has solid to semisolid consistency and even the characteristic granular appearance of ghee.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Skcz-vHyGXA&w=410]

(Dr. Ravi Malik convenor on Indian Medical Association commenting on adulteration in Ghee & Oil at News-24)

Realizing the problem of adulteration of ghee with vegetable oils/fats, the introduction of an easily detectable ‘marker’ in vanaspati has been made compulsory by the Vegetable Oil Products Control Order, which is under the control of Ministry of Food andAgriculture, Govt. of India. According to this order, vanaspati shall contain raw or refined sesame (til) oil not less than 5% by weight. The Baudouin colour test enables vanaspati containing sesame oil to be detected in adulterated ghee.

ii. Adulteration with animal body fat

Adulteration of ghee with animal body fat is not so common as with vegetable oil/ fats. Tallow or other animal body fats obtained from slaughter houses are mixed with ghee in different proportions. The animal body fat being hard cannot be detected visually. The chemical characteristics of ghee adulterated with animal body fat falls within normal range of pure ghee, hence their detection is difficult.

Further, it is found that ghee prepared from buffaloes fed with cotton seeds acquire analytical constants similar to those samples adulterated with animal body fat.

iii. Detection of adulterants in ghee

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muYvjiE25Bc&w=410]

(Equinox Labs demonstrates how to find whether ghee is adulterated or not – NDTV India.)

Several tests have been developed from time to time to detect adulteration of ghee with vegetable oils/fats and animal body fat. Under the PFA rules the Baudouin test, which should be negative is mandatory, whereas Agmark standards recommends that Baudouin test and Phytosterol Acetate test should be negative. There is no reliable simple method, which can distinguish genuine ghee from ghee containing as high as 20-30% animal body fats.

The Baudouin test for sesame oil consists essentially in treating the fat with concentrated hydrochloric acid and adding to the extract a 2% solution of freshly distilled furfural in 95% ethyl alcohol. Development of a permanent pink colour indicates the presence of sesame oil (alternatively vanaspati) in ghee. This test can detect upto 3% sesame oil in ghee.

The Phytosterol acetate test also detects the adulteration of ghee with vegetable oils. Ghee is an animal fat and contains cholesterol while all vegetable oils contain sterols of other types which are together termed phytosterol. This test will not detect the presence of animal body fat, such as tallow’s and lards in ghee, since these also contain cholesterol. The acetate of these sterols have characteristic melting point. Admixture of phytosterol acetate with that of cholesterol sharply raises the melting points of the latter, permitting detection of vegetable oil in ghee.

The sterols are obtained from ghee by crystallization from ethanol of the isolated unsponifiable matter. These sterols are then precipitated from ethanol solution as digitonides using digitonin. On boiling with acetic anhydride the corresponding acetates are obtained, and their melting points are determined. The average melting point of sterol acetate from ghee is about 114.6oC (range 112.7o to 116.4oC) whereas of vegetables fats always more than 125oC. If the observed melting point of a test sample is 117oC or higher, phytosterol from vegetable fat is assumed to be present and test is positive.

Recently many advanced and sensitive techniques, such as thin layer-chromatography, paper chromatography and gas liquid chromatography have been developed for detection of ghee adulteration, but these are expensive and time consuming.

How to Make Ghee (Clarified Butter): Definition & some methods to prepare it

Make Ghee at Home

Traditionally Ghee or clarified butter is made from cow’s (indigenous breed) milk. Known by names like go-ghrut, ghee, ghi etc it is an integral part of Vedic and Modern Hindu religious customs like Yagna sacrifices (Homam), marriages, observance of ritualistic devotional services to Lord Krishna and other Indian festivals Ghee is used as Panchamrut along with four other sacred ingredients like sugar, honey, go-dadhi (curd from cow’s milk). It makes an essential part of all Indian and South Asian cuisine without which the food lack added richness and nutrition as the belief system prevails.

Ayurveda considers Ghee to be sattvik when used as food and thus it also serves as the main constituent of many Ayurvedic medicines.

Ghee does not contain any trans fats as present in vanaspatighee and therefore referred to as Desi Ghee or asli ghee (real or genuine ghee) to distinguish it from trans fats that are generally the cause of chronic cardiovascular disease. The term shuddha ghee is often misused by the traders of vanaspati ghee or partially hydrogenated fats to promote their product due to no enforcement of strict and stringent laws in many regions.

Now let’s take a quick look at the methods that are commonly followed to prepare Ghee (so called ghee as the methods other than described in Vedic literature yield only butter oil and not ghee; in absence of real knowledge of facts) in general-

  • At home from milk cream or Malai
  • By centrifugation method in separator machine in dairy industries from separated cream from milk .
  • By traditional milk fermentation route.

How to Make Ghee (Clarified Butter)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Pker6csSAg&w=410]

The best and ideal method to prepare Ghee is traditional milk fermentation route.

Ghee or heated clarified butter fat particularly that is prepared by traditional milk fermentation route, has good medicinal value which is completely lacking in butter prepared from other methods.

Ghee is a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, which our body needs in very small quantities but cannot make for itself. These vitamins perform many essential functions.

Similarly, the essential fatty acids, which cannot be synthesized in our body are also supplied by Ghee.

Such Ghee has been recognized as Indian medicine in Ayurveda. It is used in various disorders both externally as well as internally.

However such qualities are lacking in the butter oil prepared from the other two methods mentioned above.

Emerging scientific findings indicate that Ghee prepared from such method following Vedic instructions contains several components such as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), sphingomylein, butyric acid, myristic acid and vitamin A, which have potential to inhibit the development of cancer.

In fact, Ghee is the richest natural dietary source of CLA, which has shown to inhibit carcinogenesis of colour, mammary tissue, skin and stomach. CLA present in Ghee is also known to have serum cholesterol lowering properties.

Compared to other fats and oils, milk fat (ghee) is easily digestible. Also the digestibility of Ghee is 99%.

Effect of Method of Preparation of Ghee:

Pure Home Made Ghee

Adoption of any other method except that mentioned in Ayurveda for manufacture of Ghee affect the constituents like carotene, vitamin A and E and phospholipids. At each stage of processing during Ghee making, such as cream separation, pasteurization, butter making, some loss of carotene and vitamin A takes place, hence more the steps involved in the method of Ghee making lesser will be the percentage of these constituents and degradation of its medicinal and nutritive value. In case of indigenous method of Ghee making higher recovery of vitamin A is achieved because large amount of fat soluble vitamin A is transferred to the fat phase during souring of whole milk into dahi and subsequently during churning of dahi into makkhan.

Raising temperature to more than 125 C during manufacture of Ghee and storage of Ghee for prolonged period drastically reduces the vitamin A content and almost completely destroy carotene content.

The total phospholipid content of creamy cow butter varies between 75-218 mg/100g, which is higher than the values of 61-67 mg/100g found in cow makkhan (curd process butter). There is no loss of phospholipid on converting butter or makkhan into Ghee.

So the reader can decide himself now how important it is to follow the right procedure to make Ghee.

What is Ghee – Benefits, Qualities & Medicinal Values

Words fall short while describing the qualities, benefits and medicinal value of  Cow Ghee of indigenous GIR breed of cows. Starting with the innumerable qualities that surpass the limits of this article, a few are described to enlightening the reader about this divine gift of Gaumata that is beneficial to the whole humanity.

What is Ghee?

According to Ayurveda, cow’s Ghee is full of nutritive qualities and an ideal diet. Its regular consumption enhances physical and mental strength, keeps the body healthy and increases the potency of the body. It is not only nutritive, but also helps in taking out the impurities from the body. It enhances eyesight, keeps muscles and tendons healthy, and bone sturdy yet supple.

Properties of Butter

  • Hridya – good for heart
  • Deepanam – increases appetite
  • Grahi – helps in absorbing the digested nutrients from the intestinal lumen
  • Vata Pittaghnam
  • Chakshushya – good for the eye sight
  • Vrishya – acts as a sexual tonic
  • Jeevanam, brhmanam
  • Pitte – ghrtam lihyath!
  • Vathe – ghrtham pibeth!

What is Clarified Butter – Goghrta – Cow’s Ghee properties

  • Vata Pittaghnam, Chakshushya, Hrdyam, Medhyam, Vishahara
  • Pithe – lihyath!
  • Vate – pibeth!
  • Ama stage of Pitha disorders

Cow GheeGhee contains only those fatty acids or saturated fat that are primarily (89%) short chain fatty acids, compared with longer chains in other animal fats, such as beef fat. It is the longer chain fatty acids that are associated with blood clotting and thrombosis.  Short chains are not only easier to digest, but help hormone production and strengthening cell membranes.

They that is the long chain fatty acids also have anti-microbial properties, protecting against harmful micro-organisms in the digestive tract.

  • It increases Intelligence;
  • Helps in enhancing Memory Power;
  • Rejuvenates the Skin from inside and increases its Glow;
  • Boosts body Energy;
  • Detoxifies Body;
  • Normalizes Vata;
  • Increases clarity of Voice;
  • Normalises Pitta; Nourishes the Body;
  • Improves Digestion and increases body Fire;
  • Increases Quality and Quantity of Semen;
  • It is very effective in disorders of the Eye;
  • Acts as a Good Rasayana;

It is the best form of fat.

Cow Ghee Cow Ghee-Pure Ghee-Pure Desi Ghee

Made From 100% Pure Desi Gir Breed’s Clarified Butter

Surprisingly 10 gms. of Cow Ghee used in fire sacrifice produces one ton of oxygen. When cow’s Ghee is burned with rice it produces Etholine oxide, propylene oxide and Foramaladeyore. Ethelene oxide and Formaldehyde give immunity against bacteria which are used in operation theatre. Propylene oxide induces rain. Therefore, Yagna done with cow Ghee purifies and cleanse the atmosphere and induces rains.Ghee is known for the quality of Ropana – healing, and its effectiveness in facilitating recovery from wounds. In ancient India, people used Ghee to heal the patients who suffered from wounds.According to Ayurveda, if a person has a chronic peptic ulcer or gastritis, Ghee can and should be used to heal that ulcer inside the intestinal tract. Ghee works wondrously on bedsores for the elderly or debilitated. It can be applied for broken bones and bruises. It is highly effective for all sorts of skin rashes. It is also used on burns of both fire and chemicals.Cow Ghee of Gir breed is Useful in the following disorders:

  • Kshaya (TB)
  • Aruchi (loss of taste)
  • Arditha (facial palsy)
  • Pleeha (enlargedspleen)
  • Grahani (spure) Arsha (piles)
  • Akshi Roga (eye disorders)
  • RakthaPitta (bleeding disorders)
  • Especially useful in the treatment of Unmada (mania and schizhophrenia) and Shopha (edema)
  • Visheshadamrutha Shishoh (is like nectar to children)

The effects of dietary Ghee on Heart (how risky is it to take Ghee in diet if a person suffers from CVD – Cardio Vascular Disease) the anhydrous milk fat, on blood and liver lipids in rats

No lipid deposition was observed either in the arteries or in the livers of animals fed a diet containing ghee (for a period of 8 weeks). Interestingly, serum Cholesterol levels decreased in a dose dependent manner when ghee was incorporated at levels ranging from 2.5 to 10% in the diet.

  • The unpublished results show that serum Cholesterol levels were decreased by 8 to 15% in these patients after ghee was consumed as a part of the therapy.

Ghee in Ayurveda

Ghee helps to loosen up and liquefy toxins and pacify humors (Doshas) in the skin and blood (called the outer disease pathway). Ghee helps to carry the healing benefit of many herbs, spices and other foods to the deep cells and tissues of the body. It opens the small channels for dislodging and removing heavy toxins. Thus, toxins begin to drain from deeper tissues and start to flow in the gastro intestinal tract for elimination. It also lubricates and moistens the membranes and tissues. It protects tissues from damage, helps in the proper flowing of wastes and toxins from the body. People with a strong digestive power can use more ghee than those with a weak digestive system. As per Ayurveda the colon is related to all other organs and tissues. When the colon is cleansed and toned successfully, the entire body receives healing and rejuvenation. The colon is the main organ through which the body absorbs nutrients thus, a proper functioning colon is imperative for efficient assimilation of nutrients.

What is Ghee or Butter?

Ghee is a semi-liquid form of butter without water content, lactose and other milk solids. It is prepared by gently heating butter until it becomes a clear golden liquid. Ghee is light, pure and does not become rancid for a long time. Ghee, the Ayurvedic cooking medium, has a rich, buttery taste and aroma, and comes with a host of benefits listed in the traditional Ayurvedic texts.

Ghee Benefits in the Ayurvedic Science

In Ayurveda ghee is a foundational ingredient, it imparts the benefits of the best essential fatty acids without the problems of oxidized cholesterol, trans-fatty acids or hydrogenated fats. It is also resistant to free radical damage and is both salt and lactose free. It contains butyric acid, a fatty acid with antiviral and anti-cancer properties. Ayurveda considers ghee as the ultimate cooking oil, with diverse mind/body benefits listed in the ancient texts.

  1. Absorption: Ghee is an oil that can bond with lipid-soluble nutrients and herbs to penetrate the lipid-based cell walls of the body. Thus, it increases the potency of certain herbs by carrying the active components to the interior of the cells, which helps to increase Marrow, Semen & Ojas (Immunity).
  2. Preservative: Ghee contains no water, so it does not spoil easily and hence preserves the original freshness and potency of herbs and foods. Therefore, no refrigeration is required for ghee. It is ancient Ayurvedic and folk assumption that as Ghee becomes aged, though its taste becomes slightly bitter its effectiveness and healing properties increases. In many Ayurvedic classical formulation 5 to 10 years older Ghee is highly recommended.
  3. Digestion: The Ayurvedic texts say that ghee lubricates the digestive system and improves the digestive power because it helps enhance digestion without irritating the stomach and balance the stomach acids to maintain and repair the mucus lining of the stomach. Ghee aids proper digestion and nutrient assimilation. People who are lactose intolerant can generally consume ghee.
  4. Mind: Ghee is said to promote all three aspects of mental functioning: learning, memory and recall. The traditional texts also designate ghee a medhya Rasayana, (Healthy and balanced fat in the body), beneficial for mental alertness and memory. It supports healthy vision, voice, intelligence and brain function.

Other Benefits of Cow Ghee

  • Pure Ghee has been given the cherished title of “Rasayana” in Ayurveda pre-eminent herbs and foods that help overall health, longevity and well-being.
  • Pure Ghee is highly recommended for people having problems with piles, fisher, and fistula.
  • Pure Ghee enhances the quantity and quality of semen and ovum also referred to as Ojas, our immunity (the master coordinator of mind and body).
  • More Ojas translates to increased fertility and healthier children.
  • Ghee is well known as an anti-aging ingredient.
  • Ghee helps the equal distribution of fats in the body.

Cow Ghee: Healing & Curative Properties

It has been experienced by many that the Pure Ghee obtained by hand churning of curd made from milk of indigenous breed of India cow can not only improve eyesight but also can cure cataract.

Mr Sharat Chandra aged 78 years was advised by an Ayurvedic physician (vaidya) to put three drops of Ayur Ghee in his nostrils before going to sleep at night for his weak eye sight. Mr Sharat Chandra reported that after few months of usage of Pure Ghee as directed by the physician not only his eyesight improved but miraculously he stopped wearing his spectacles for good.

He also reported that he had suffered from migraine for 20years which dramatically disappeared in 15 days of the use of real clarified butter of Desi breed of Indian cow.

One of my neighbors 67 years old Mr Sharma lost his memory due to old age. When I asked his family members to experiment Shuddha Ghee of Desi cow similar to Mr Sharat Chandra’s case, his memory power too improved after the span of year and a half.

When a 27 year old woman was bitten by a poisonous insect She suffered from oedema of whole body and face along with wrinkling of facial skin. This woman was given a concoction prepared from 25gm of cow’s Ghee heated with 8 red chilies and 10gm of sugar. Miraculously just after 10 minutes of the medicine’s intake her swelling improved and she became fit as a fiddle in three days.

A cancer patient when advised to take Desi cow’s milk mixed with Desi Ghee showed marked improvement in health.

A friend of Mr Sharat was suffering with 70% blockage in major arteries of heart. He was advised to massage his chest with mixture made from paste of 10gm Urd Dal, 10gm castor oil and 10 gm Desi cow’s butter. Dramatically his condition improved in one month’s time.

Desi Ghee of cow when used as nasal drops can cure several ailment and disorders such as-

  • Insomnia
  • Sinusitis
  • Allergic sneezing
  • Weak eyesight
  • Hair fall
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • Memory loss

Method to Store Pure Desi Ghee

Remember the Pure Ghee obtained by hand churning of fermented milk of indigenous breed of cow, should never be stored in aluminum vessels and while taking out Cow Ghee from the plastic bag, never heat the plastic bag to melt and take out the Cow Ghee as it can lead to sequestering of harmful elements of plastic into the Cow Ghee.