How can we test the purity of pure ghee?

          Pure ghee and vanaspati ghee are a part of our daily food. Pure ghee is expensive while vanaspati ghee is comparatively cheaper. Because of this, pure ghee is often adulterated with vanaspati ghee and common consumers are cheated. Do you know how you can test the purity of pure ghee?

          Vanaspati ghee is manufactured by the hydrogenation of vegetable oils. In the process of hydrogenation, nickel powder is used as a catalyst and hydrogen is passed. By this process, unsaturated vegetable oils get saturated and are converted in what we call as vanaspati ghee. To test the presence of vanaspati ghee in pure ghee, we carry out the chemical test for nickel particles which are always present in traces in vanaspati ghee.

          To detect the presence of vanaspati ghee in pure ghee, we make use of hydrochloric acid and 2% solution of furfural in alcohol. These chemicals are easily available in the market.

          About 5 ml. sample of ghee is heated in a test tube. When it melts, about 5 ml. of hydrochloric acid is added to it. The tube is then shaken well. Now 5 to 6 drops of furfural solution are added and the test tube is again shaken well for four to five minutes. Now, if a pink colour develops, the ghee being tested is not pure. It means it contains vanaspati ghee, i.e. nickel particles. If there is no change in the colour, the ghee is pure. This system of detection is widely used by the ghee traders.