A researcher at Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) claims to have invented a cheap and effective way to detect formalin and other harmful chemicals in food.
The researcher, Md Faruq bin Hossain Yamin, says his unique ‘colour reaction’ test costs just Tk 1.
He said two solutions — complex-1 and complex-2 — will be used for the test.
“It is possible to trace formalin and other harmful chemicals within five seconds using these solutions,” he told bdnews24.com.
He, however, refused to disclose names of the chemicals used to manufacture the solutions, which are intellectual properties of an institution.
Yamin hoped the retail and wholesale businessmen would be encouraged to adopt the system as it cost only Tk 1 per test.
The scientist said the available instruments for such tests are expensive and often produces controversial results.
Presently, 87 kit boxes, supplied by the food ministry, are used to trace the presence of formalin. This is not enough to meet the requirements.
He said for the tests, a food item will have to be placed in clear water. From there, a single drop of water has to be mixed with the ‘complex solutions’.
“The complex solution will change colour in presence of formalin or other harmful chemicals,” he said.
“Otherwise, the solutions will retain its usual pink colour.”
Yamin said the invention is the result of six months of arduous research in addition to the work he puts into his job.
BARI Director General Md Rafiqul Islam Mandal hoped Yamin’s findings will make testing easy and dispel public fears about presence of formalin and other harmful substances in food.
He said agriculture secretary Nazmul Islam will vouch for Yamin's technology.
Mandal hoped it would be available to the public ‘soon’ after formalities are completed.
“With this technology, it will be possible to shun the use of chemicals in food items within two years,” he told bdnews24.com.(bdnews24.com)