top of page

Adulteration: A more common problem than you think!

Adulteration in Spice powders

What is adulteration? Why does it matter?

"The action of making something poorer in quality by the addition of another substance".

Adulteration in spice powder poses a significant threat to importers, resulting in financial losses and tarnished reputations. Dubious suppliers often resort to using adulterants to deceive importers, compromising the quality and authenticity of the product. In this blog, we delve into the common adulterants found in spice powder, explore the financial implications for importers, and how this blog is not at all required if you partner with Suman exports.

Most common types of adulterants in Spice Powders

Adulterants are mostly used to increase the volume or weight of spice powder. Some common adulterants include:

  • Fillers such as starch, sawdust, or talcum powder.

  • Artificial colours to enhance visual appeal.

  • Synthetic flavours and fragrances to mask poor quality.

  • Non-food substances like brick powder or sand.

We will cover these categories and related spices in detail in our next blog post.

What does the research show?

A recent EU study (EUR30877EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2021) revealed that nearly one in every five herbs and spices were adulterated or altered in some unknown way.(1)(2)

Oregano was the most commonly adulterated herb, with approximately 48% of collected samples containing other ingredients, primarily olive leaves. Other adulterated herbs and spices included pepper (17% of samples), cumin (14%), turmeric (11%), paprika (6%), and saffron (11%).

The study analysed 1,885 samples of herbs and spices, finding that over half of them contained undisclosed plant material, while unauthorised food dyes were present in about one in fifty samples. Elevated levels of copper were also found in some samples, and one sample contained potentially carcinogenic lead chromate.

Financial Implications on the Importer

Importers face several financial implications when unknowingly purchasing adulterated spice powder:

  • Product Recall Costs: If adulteration is detected after the product has reached the market, importers may face significant costs associated with product recalls, including transportation, disposal, and potential legal expenses.

  • Brand Reputation Damage: Adulterated spice powder damages the reputation of importers' brands, leading to customer distrust, decreased sales, and potential lawsuits. Rebuilding trust and regaining market share can be a costly and time-consuming process.

  • Legal and Regulatory Penalties: Importing adulterated spice powder can result in hefty fines, regulatory penalties, and legal consequences, further impacting the financial health of importers.


The scam of adulterants in spice powder can have devastating financial consequences for importers, including product recalls, brand reputation damage, and legal penalties. Real-world examples demonstrate the magnitude of losses incurred. By partnering with Suman Exports, importers can mitigate these risks and safeguard their supply chain. Our commitment to stringent quality control, trusted sourcing, and regulatory compliance makes us an ideal partner, ensuring the integrity and authenticity of your spice powder.



Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
bottom of page