The Madras High Court has received a plea to ban the use of alloxan, a chemical in refined flour. Alloxan is used in animal testing to induce diabetes and test the efficacy of diabetes medication, but there is lack of clarity on its effect on humans.

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has banned the use of alloxan in flour, and several cardiologists have suggested that it may be one of the food ingredients associated with risk of heart disease.

International studies suggest that its presence in flour could lead to diabetes and cardiac problems. If this is proved, Indian consumers of parathas and puris are at risk.

Independent food testing laboratories in Delhi say that they have yet to detect the presence of the alloxan in tests.
Alloxan’s structure mimics that of glucose, which allows it to be absorbed by the pancreas and once inside the organ, it destroys insulin-producing beta cells. However, according to the American Chemical Society, it cannot be taken up by the human pancreas, though it has been shown to be associated with liver and kidney toxicity.


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