Extent of Awareness and Food Adulteration Detection in Selected Food Items Purchased by Home Makers
Food is essential for sustenance of life. Adulteration of food cheats the consumer and can pose serious risk to health in some cases. The present study was planned with the main objective of identifying buying practices of homemakers and their extent of awareness related to selected food products. Stratified sampling method with questionnaire cum interview schedule was adopted to collect data. Tool was standardized by difficulty index, validity index and split half reliability method. Statistical test such as chi-square between awareness and occupation, t-test among age group, ...view middle of the document...
A good buying behavior reflects philosophy about the nature of consumer and provides a logical means of organizing the vast quantity of information on variables that influence the buying practices. Buying practices involves the determination by market agencies of kind, qualities and quantities of goods desired by consumer. Buyer has to find out the desired qualities of goods sold at satisfactory prices. Buying consumes a great deal of time, energy and money. Effective buying requires a specialized knowledge of content of goods, their resources and their use. (Kotler, 1990) Consumers have no choice except to face a wider variety of buying situations than in the past, one result is that there has been and will continue to be an increase in the number of consumer problems and disputes particularly involving consumer rights and legal protection.
|Fig. 1: |Model of Buying Behavior |
To meet these challenges successfully Consumers must arm themselves against these problems since they are not automatically protected by the working of the market. Therefore, a consumer’s best defense is knowledge of his/her rights as a consumer and of the remedies which exist to resolve these problems when they occur. “Knowledge and awareness about adulterated foods, laws and its rights related to adulterated food is crucial in a society where technology heightens opportunities for perpetrators of fraud deception and misrepresentation” (Garman and Jonest, 1992).
Adulteration may be intentional or unintentional. The former is a willful act on the part of adulterator who intended to increase the margin of profit. On the other hand, adulteration may be incidental contamination, which is usually due to ignorance, negligence or lack of proper facilities.
Adulteration is defined as “the process by which the quality or the nature of a given substance is reduced through:
|• |The addition of a foreign or an inferior substance e.g. addition of water to milk. |
|• |The removal of vital vitamins, e.g. removal of fat from milk". (Mudambi and Rajgopal, 1985) |
The causes of adulteration may be:
|• |Availability of too many products in the market |
|• |Poor buying practices of consumers. |
|• |Consumer mentality of bargaining, |
|• |Consumer psyche. |
|• |Availability of adulterants. |