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Published by, 2021-11-08 03:33:58



Vol. XX, Issue 1 JANUARY 2020 Rs. 50

3 Minutes Masala Oats PRODUCT SURVEY BFSI
How to choose the best one Home Air Purifiers Health Insurance for Senior Citizens


5 IN THE NEWS Health Insurance for Senior Citizens
8 COMPARATIVE TEST Choose better with ease

Cow Ghee
A spoonful of yellow magic


15 DECODING FOOD LABELS All about online frauds and how to protect
3 Minutes Masala Oats yourself from them?
How to choose the best one


20 FOOD & STUFF The ex-parte order of the state commission
The food paradox: Scarcity insufficiency can be challenged


Home Air Purifiers Know what to do when your appeal is time-
Because everyone deserves to breathe in barred
clean air


Can we be a bamboo tree?

With a new decade and a New Year, the time to
come is completely unknown and a lot depends on
the kind of efforts, direction, practices we will
pursue to bring that desired outcomes. However,
not all strategies and practices bear fruits or some
might not see the day of the light too. Yet, we try
achieving our set targets.

And between setting targets and chalking out plans
to reach there-we all come across a stage where we
lose purpose; we lose the motivation to keep trying.
We lose the tenacity to get going. Maybe someone is
not able to achieve a sales target set by the company,
some might be stuck with the idea of starting-up
his/her own venture/some might be stuck with the
investment proposal s/he has been trying to fetch
to expand business so on and so forth. Whenever
such a stage of life holds us back, we can remind
ourselves the story of China's Bamboo Tree and how
it grows on the ground.

Try this! Take China's Bamboo seed and plant it on
the ground. Water, nurture the seed for an entire
year and you will not see even a single sprout. In
fact, you will not see a single sprout for 5 years.
Yeah, that’s long! But suddenly and finally a tiny
sprout will spring from the ground and over the
next 6 weeks the plant can grow as tall as 90 feet. It
can grow as fast as 39 inches every 24 hours. You
can literally watch the plant grow.

You will think, what was the plant doing all these
years? It was growing its root. For full 5 years, it
was preparing itself for rapid and massive growth.
Without the root structure, the plant couldn't
support its future growth. Some would say the plant
grew 90 feet in 6 weeks. I would say it grew 90 feet
in 5 years and 6 weeks. Can we be like this Bamboo
tree? Can we have deep courage and faith in
ourselves in trying and practicing to achieve our
targets this year and always?

As a famous Hindi Poet once said:

^^dksf'k'k dj] gy fudysxkA

vkt ugh rks] dy fudysxkA

ftUnk j[k] fny esa mEehnksa dks]

xjy ds leUnj ls Hkh xaxkty fudysxkA

dksf'k'ksa tkjh j[k dqN dj xqtjus dh]

tks gS vkt Fkek Fkek lk gS] py fudysxk**

Sharmila Das


In the News

Survey says Indians like to use wearables
and voice-activated devices for shopping

Indian consumers are embracing technology
much like their global counterparts which is
impacting the way they consume everything
from streaming services, banking and online
shopping, according to the findings of a survey
commissioned by MiQ, along with Sapio

Over the next two years, Indian consumers will use more wearable and voice-activated technologies
to shop than their desktops, according to the India-specific findings of the global survey. Moreover,
the consumers here are particularly keen on investing in new technology with 42 per cent of the
respondents saying that they are frequently among the first to buy new technology as soon as it’s
released, with an additional 37 per cent saying that they wait for reviews but also buy shortly it
after that.

Mobile users recharging monthly after
tariff hikes

Mobile phone users are paying about 40 per cent
more on prepaid recharges following the recent
increase in tariffs. That’s forcing consumers on
a tight budget to recharge monthly, switching
from plans of a longer duration, they said.

Such customers will also be more amenable to
switching companies since they won’t be locked
into any provider for more than a month, they
said. That’s why Bharti AirtelNSE 1.69 per cent
and Reliance Jio Infocomm are offering discounts on 12-month recharge plans.


Road Safety

To strengthen the road safety through this
act Consumer VOICE along with state
partners organised workshops in Varanasi
on 2nd December, Prayagraj on 14th Dec,
Uttar Pradesh and Rudrapur on 12th Dec,
and Uttarakkhand in the month of
December. These workshops were attended
by relevant stakeholders such as officials
from transport department, university
professors, officials from police department,
traffic department, regional transport
officers, NCC cadets, city patrolling unit,


In the News

lawyers, road traffic victims, representatives of Ministry of Finance. The Bill seeks to prohibit
civil society organisations and media persons. the production, trade, storage, and
Discussions took place on the new advertisement of electronic cigarettes. Media
amendments and provisions of the Motor supported the event by providing wide
Vehicles Act and the organizers urged the state coverage to it.
government to implement the same. Regional
media persons had participated and covered Welcoming this move, Consumer VOICE
the workshop. A booklet on the subject matter along with its states partners sent Thank You
was also given to participants in the workshops. letters to Honourable Prime Minister, Minister
of Health & Family Welfare, Parliamentarians
Tobacco Intervention and other officials of ministry who supported
the passage of the bill.
E-cigarettes pose significant health risks to
A press note was also circulated and media
users that are frighteningly similar to those of supported the ban by providing good coverage.

conventional cigarettes. Since long Consumer GST

VOICE along with its states partners Tobacco kills more than 1.3 million people each
year in India (home to the second greatest
demanded for a national ban on an E-cigarettes number of smokers in the world behind
China). The total direct and indirect cost of
in India. In the month of December the diseases attributable to tobacco use was a
staggering Rs. 1.04 lakh crore ($17 billion) in
Parliament of India passed the “Prohibition of 2011 or 1.16 per cent of India’s GDP. Through
letters to the Finance Minister and the GST
Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Council Members, Consumer VOICE urged
them to increase the compensation cess on
Manufacture, Import, Export, Transport, Sale, tobacco products. As this will not only bring
additional revenue but also reduce tobacco
Distribution, Storage, and Advertisement) Bill, consumption. Sensitizing on tobacco
taxation, the team suggested the GST Council
2019” by voice vote and Members that increasing compensation cess
on tobacco products can help the
government garner additional revenue of 190

with long discussion in

both the houses (Lok

Sabha and Rajya Sabha).

Earlier it was introduced

in Lok Sabha by the

Minister of Health and

Family Welfare, Dr.

Harsh Vardhan. It

replaced an ordinance

promulgated in

September 2019 by


In the News

billion to make up the deficit short fall in GST Corrigendum
In the November 2019 edition of
A press note was circulated in national and Consumer Voice, the article of
regional media. Media supported the cause and “Decoding Food Labels – Cookies”,
provided good coverage. “All the brands used unhealthy fat
and oil” to be read as, “All the brands
LEGAL UPDATES also used unhealthy fat and oil”
Supreme Court criticized national
commission for a year long delay in Hotels can’t deny claim for theft of
assigning reasons to dismiss appeal vehicle given for valet parking:
Supreme Court
The Supreme Court was highly disappointed
by the working of the Consumer Commissions The Supreme Court upheld an order passed
and criticized it for its long delay in assigning by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal
reasons for dismissing an appeal. According to Commission (‘National Commission’) to pay
the court, it is highly inconsiderate of the compensation of Rs 2.8 lakh to an individual
Commissions of such high prestige to not work whose Maruti Zen Car was stolen in 1998 from
accordingly and in just manner. The Apex its parking area holding that there was
Court said that it is not at all appreciated how deficiency in services rendered by the hotel
these Consumers Commissions are management. The Supreme Court ruled that
adjudicating their work and such a great if a customer’s vehicle which has been given
amount of delay has been caused which is for valet parking is stolen or damaged inside
another link for cases to be pending. The cases the parking premises, the hotel will be held
which were brought to the notice of the Apex liable for damages and cannot claim an
Court were highly undesirous and these exemption from the same.
Commissions require a high degree of
notifications for adjudication of work and not
to cause further delay in giving reasons for
dismissing an appeal.


Certificate of recognition being handed
over by Ashim Sanyal , COO to Abhey
Goyal, Director, Ajanta Soya Ltd on
Aachal being ranked No. 1 in
Comparative Product Testing of
Vanaspati published in December 2019
issue of Consumer Voice.


Comparative Testing

Cow Ghee

A spoonful of yellow magic

Cow ghee is a carrier of fat-soluble vitamins including A, D, E and K, which
our bodies need in very small quantities but can’t make for itself. These
vitamins perform many essential functions. Similarly, the essential fatty acids,
which cannot be synthesized in our body, are also supplied by ghee. Cow
ghee is the pure clarified fat-derived solely from milk or curd or desi butter or
from cream to which no colouring matter flavor or preservative gets added.
Ghee is an important dairy product that enters inter-state trade too. Due to
variation in its composition from region to region and season to season and
also because it depends on the type of animal and the feed given, the
establishment of its purity often involves elaborate analysis, as well as tests
for its keeping quality. Hence, the Consumer Voice team this time singled
out 11 popular /regular selling cow ghee brands and tested on different
parameters including vitamin A, milk fat, adulteration, flavor and taste among
others. Read on the report below to know the best cow ghee brand for your


Comparative Testing

The prime objective behind performing laboratory. The key parameters for which the
the comparative study was to assess and ghee brands were tested included milk fat,
evaluate overall quality of the popular vitamins A, saturated fat, PUFA, MUFA, and
cow ghee brands available in the markets by trans fat. We also carried out a series of tests to
following the relevant national standard. All the check for adulteration with vegetable fats,
tested brands were evaluated and graded as animal fats, etc.
per their overall performance based on the
comprehensive lab test reports. The grading As there is no specific standard for cow ghee,
has been adopted based on an international the test program for comparative testing of cow
grade scale where 5 is very good, 4 is good, 3 is ghee was prepared mainly based on FSSAI
average, 2 is poor and 1 is very poor. regulation (Food Safety & Standards
Regulation) and BIS standard IS 16326:2015.
How We Test The standard test methods of ghee were used
for comparative testing.
As per our standard procedure, we undertook
random market research to identify the Brands Tested
regular-selling cow ghee brands. We identified
11 brands and tested on various quality, safety 11 regular selling brands of cow ghee were
and acceptability parameters. The comparative undertaken for comparative testing and one
testing was carried out at a NABL accredited can see the brand scores in the below table.

Rank Total Score Brands Quantity, MRP, MRP per Agmark Best Manufacturer/ marketer
Out of 100 Gms
(rounded Rs 100 ml Before,

1 91 Ananda 1L(900g) 550 55 9 Gopaljee Dairy Foods Pvt. Ltd.,
1 91 Amul 1 L (905g) 490 49 Agmark 9 Gujarat Co-operative Milk
Marketing Federation Ltd.,
2 90 Milkfood 500 ml (449g) 258 51.6 -9 Milk Food Ltd.,
1 L (902g)
3 89 57 -9 Patanjali Ayurved Ltd.,
4 88 Patanjali 500 ml (452.5g) 285 55 Agmark 8 Mother Dairy Fruits & Vegetable
Pvt. Ltd.
4 88 Mother Dairy 500ml (451g) 275 The Punjab State Cooperative Milk
Producers’ Federation Ltd.,
5 87 Verka 1 L (900g) 530 53 - 9 Anik Milk Products Pvt. Ltd.,
5 87 Future Consumer Limited,
6 86 Anik 1 L (898g) 550 55 - 12 Britannia Dairy Pvt. Ltd.
7 85 - 6 Shree Baidyanath Ayurved
Fresh & Pure 1 L (902g) 530 53 - 18 Bhawan Pvt. Ltd.,
8 83 12 Parag Milk Foods Ltd.,
Britannia 200 ml (181g) 160 80

Baidyanath 1 L (902g) 580 58

Gowardhan 500ml(452g) 295 59 12

Note: Verka claimed to be cow milk fat. 9


Comparative Testing

Key Findings CV Recommendations

● Based on the overall test findings, Value for money - Amul
brands Ananda and Amul secured the
number 1 position. And we recognized Test Results
brand Amul as the value-for-money
brand. Vitamin A | Milk Fat| Saturated Fat | MUFA
| PUFA | Trans Fatty Acid (Trans Fat)| Flavour
● We found beta carotene was highest in & Taste| Bauduoin Test| Presence of Animal
Ananda and Amul. Fat| Butyro-Refractometer Reading | Reichert-
Meissl Value | Cholesterol | Coliform count
● Milk fat was highest in Ananda. cfu/gm | Peroxide Value
● There was no adulteration with

vegetable fat and animal fat for any
● All the brands had met the minimum
requirements specified in the national
● Therefore all brands are safe for

Comparative Testing of Cow Ghee

Brandbbb ’! % weighatge
Parameters“! Ananda
Mother Dairy
Fresh & Pure

Physico-chemical Tests

Description 2 2222 222 2 2 22
6666 666 6 6 66
Flavour & Taste 6 4444 444 4 4 44

Presence of animal fat 4
(other than milk fats)

Moisture 4 4.00 3.52 3.76 3.60 3.40 3.76 3.64 3.76 3.76 2.20 3.52
4.40 5.00 4.85 4.55 4.93 4.55 3.95 4.03 3.73 2.00 4.10
Free Fatty Acids 5
3333 333 3 3 33
Reichert-Meissl Value 3 3.28 3.92 2.80 3.06 4.74 3.39 2.61 3.35 2.58 4.00 3.32
4.07 3.92 3.25 3.69 3.90 3.85 3.41 4.12 3.23 4.46 3.65
Saturated fat 5 3.51 3.80 4.40 3.99 2.95 3.57 3.36 3.55 3.96 5.00 3.34
3.69 3.04 3.55 3.43 3.16 3.70 3.64 3.17 3.80 4.23 3.05
Mono unsaturated fatty acid 5 2.73 3.60 4.00 3.08 3.51 2.83 3.08 2.08 2.33 2.78 2.58
3.80 3.80 3.60 3.60 3.40 3.60 3.40 3.60 3.60 3.80 3.80
Poly unsaturated fatty acid 5
4444 444 4 4 44
Trans fatty acid(Trans Fat) 5 14.00 13.44 13.72 13.58 13.30 13.72 13.58 13.72 13.72 12.04 13.44
6.23 5.47 5.26 6.10 5.24 5.35 5.59 5.91 5.66 6.88 4.97
Cholesterol 4 8.00 7.60 6.41 6.53 6.46 5.50 7.05 5.92 5.98 3.48 4.94

Butyro-Refractometer Reading 4 5555 555 5 5 55
3333 333 3 3 33
Peroxide Value 4

Milk Fat 14

Vitamin A 7

Beta carotene 8

Bauduoin test 5

Coliform count cfu/gm 3


Comparative Testing

TEST PARAMETERS dietary allowance (RDA) for adults is 4800
Vitamin A micrograms daily. Beta-carotene is a yellow/
orange pigment found mostly in fruits and
For vitamin A, the FSSAI recommended dietary vegetables, especially carrots. The name beta
allowance (RDA) for adults is 600 micrograms carotene comes from Greek “beta” and latin
daily. As for our tests, we checked the samples “carota (carrot)”. Other fruit and vegetables
for vitamin A. rich in beta-carotene are–mango, papaya,
orange, apricot, melon, sweet potato, tomato,
Let’s take a closer look to know the health pumpkin, spinach, etc.
benefits of vitamin A:
● Vitamin A is critical for good vision. The test was conducted to detect / ascertain
● Plays an important role in healthy bone presence of beta carotene in cow ghee brands.
As per US food and drug administration
growth. regulation 1 IU of vitamin A = 0.6 micrograms
● Vitamin A is essential for reproduction. of beta carotene. The human body converts
● Plays a role in cell division and cell beta-carotene into vitamin A and beta-carotene
is a precursor of vitamin A.
● Supports the immune system. Beta carotene was found to be highest in
● Supports skin health. Ananda Cow Ghee at 12.10 mg/kg.

We found vitamin A was highest in Baidyanath Milk Fat
Cow Ghee at 3165.3 IU (international unit) for
per 100g and it was lowest in Gowardhan Cow Fat is an essential part of any balanced diet,
Ghee at 2619.3 IU, per 100g. providing essential fatty acids, fat-soluble
vitamins and a concentrated source of energy.
Beta Carotene The minimum requirement for milk fat in ghee

For beta carotene, the FSSAI recommended 11


Comparative Testing

is 99.5 per cent. All the brands fulfilled the polyunsaturated (and monounsaturated) fat in
minimum requirement for milk fat content. place of saturated and trans fats can benefit
Among the cow ghee brands, Ananda (99.95 your health. Polyunsaturated fats can help
percent) had the highest amount of milk fat lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Higher PUFA
and scored highest. is better for health. PUFA was found highest
in Baidyanath at 6.23 gm/100 gm and it was
Free Fatty Acids (as Oleic Acid) found lowest in Mother Dairy at 1.45g/100 gm.

Free fatty acids are the percentage by weight Trans Fatty acid, g/100g
of free acid groups in the oil or fat. Free fatty
acids are an indication of hydrolytic rancidity, Trans fatty acids raise the level of ‘bad’
though other lipid oxidation processes can also cholesterol in our blood. Lower trans fat is
produce acids. Free fatty acids should be 3 per better for health. Highest amount of trans fat
cent maximum. We found all the brands was found in Amul at 2.61gm/100 gm and it
within the specified limit. Amul and Mother was found lowest in Baidyanath Cow Ghee at
Dairy scored highest. a 1.03 g/100gm.

Flavour and Taste Cholesterol

Cow ghee should have good flavour and taste. Lower cholesterol is better for health. Ghee is
All the brands carried the characteristic taste not advised for individuals suffering from high
and flavor of cow ghee. cholesterol. We found brand Fresh & Pure with
the highest amount of cholesterol at 184.02 mg/
Saturated Fat 100 gm and it was at the lowest in Milk Food
at 154.46 m/100 gm.
Saturated fats are derived from animal fat as
well as from vegetable fat. Saturated fats Baudouin Test
directly raise total and LDL (bad) cholesterol
levels. Lower saturated fat is better for health. This test we conducted to know if there is any
Saturated fat was found highest in Britannia at adulteration of ghee with vanaspati ghee,
76.12g/100gm and it was the lowest in Mother vegetable oils/fats, etc. As ghee adulteration
Dairy brand at 61.72 g/100 gm. with vanaspati, vegetable oils/fats are a key
concern. Ideally, Baudouin test results should
Mono Unsaturated Fatty Acid (MUFA) be negative and in our test, all the brands had
passed the test.
MUFAs are referred to as healthy fats. MUFAs
are associated with lowering the level of bad CONSUMER VOICE ● JANUARY 2020
cholesterol (LDL) and total cholesterol while
also increasing the production of good
cholesterol (HDL). These fats can be found in
vegetable oils like canola, peanut and olive oil,
as well as in nuts. Higher MUFA is better for
health. MUFA was found highest in Baidyanath
Ghee at 25.28 g/100 gm and it was at the lowest
in Britannia at 18.67 g/100 gm.

Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA)

PUFAs are found in plant and animal foods
such as salmon, vegetable oils and some nuts
and seeds. Eating moderate amounts of


Comparative Testing

Packaging Net Quantity

Packaging plays an important role in The net quantity in all the brands was as per
maintaining the consistent quality of the the manufacturer’s claim.
product and in preventing its deterioration.
Brands including Ananda, Baidhyanath, Anik, Physico-chemical Tests
and Gowardhan were packed in plastic Description
containers. Mother Dairy, Fresh & Pure brands
were packed in PVC pouches while others were Ghee should be in a light yellow, it should have
packed in tetra packs. pleasant taste, flavour and free from rancid and
objectionable flavour and rancidity. All the
Marking/Labelling brands were light yellow colour and had
pleasant taste and flavor. They were free from
Details including the following shall be there off flavour and rancidity.
on the product label:
Presence of animal fat (other than milk
a) Name of product, fats)
b) Net quantity,
c) Name and address of the manufacturer, Cow ghee brands were tested for possible
d) Date of packing, adulteration with animal fat materials like
e) The words ‘Best before’, tallow which needs to be absent. Animal fat
f) Batch or code or melt number, was not detected in any of the brands.
g) MRP.
h) FSSAI license number, Moisture
i) Customer-care details.
Moisture generally refers to the presence of
All the brands provided marking details as water in a product. Less amount of moisture is
mentioned above. better as it translates into a longer shelf life. As
per FSS Regulations, the moisture content in
CONSUMER VOICE ● JANUARY 2020 ghee should not be more than 0.5 per cent; as
per Agmark, it should not be more than 0.3
per cent. Moisture content in all the brands
was less than 0.3 per cent. Among the cow ghee
brands, the lowest moisture content was in
Ananda at 0.05 per cent and it was at the
highest in Baidyanath.

Reichert-Meissl (RM) Value

The RM value is determined when examining
fat. It is an indicator of how much volatile fatty
acid can be extracted from fat through
saponification. RM value varies from area to
area of production. All the tested brands met
the requirements set by the national standard.

Butyro-Refractometer (BR) Reading

BR reading is the index of purity of ghee. An
increase in BR reading indicates adulteration
of ghee with vegetable oil/animal fat.


Comparative Testing

BR reading varies from area to area of processing stages, were not detected in any of
production. All the tested brands had met this the ghee brands. All the brands passed the test.
Peroxide Value
Comparative testing of 11 popular brands
This parameter is an indicator of rancidity in was conducted in a NABL lab as per Food
the product. Peroxide value in ghee should be Safety and Standards Regulation. All the
0.6 milliliters maximum equivalent of peroxide brands had met the requirements of national
oxygen per kg. Peroxide value was nil in all standards for Ghee. However, there is no
the brands tested, thus they all passed the test. specific standard for cow ghee. Brand
Ananda and Amul secured top positions
Microbial Test: Coliform Count among the 11 brands tested. All brands
were free from adulteration and passed the
Coliform bacteria, the presence of which is an safety tests thus recommended for
indicator of poor sanitation practices and/or consumption.
water quality employed in the handling and


Physical Observations
a) Ghee shall be free from excess moisture.
b) On melting, the ghee shall be clear, transparent and free from sediment or foreign

colouring matter.
c) A good ghee sample should have well-developed granules dispersed fairly, thickly

and uniformly over the entire mass. A bright yellow colour, caused by the presence
of carotenoid pigments (beta carotene), is associated with cow ghee and constitutes
a desirable criterion in areas where it is preferred. Buffalo ghee is white in colour.
Sometimes, it may also have a greenish tinge depending on the region and feeding
schedule. Ghee from mixed milk has a straw-yellow colour. The colour of fats always
appears deeper to the eyes when melted than when in solid form.

Physical observations on the 11 samples were made by laboratory scientists, checking for
colour and texture and whether they were free from sediment and objectionable flavour.
Amul and Ananda were given the highest score.

Why cow ghee is more yellow?

Cow ghee is more yellow because of the pigment (the natural colouring matter of animal or
plant tissue) beta-carotene. Beta-carotene comes from the cows’ diet, which consists mostly
of dried grass, grass, grains and cereals. The amount of beta carotene in the cow ghee depends
on a few factors:
Cow feed is the most important (grass-fed dairy products contain more beta carotene than
cows who are fed grains).
Cow’s breed.
The season of the year is also important.
The biological makeup of milk changes throughout the lactation period.

Disclaimer: As there is no validated test method to authentic cow ghee, we could not carry out
authentication tests. Comparative testing was conducted as per prescribed parameters in national
standard for Ghee.


Decoding Food Labels

3 Minutes Masala Oats
How to choose the best one

Masala oats are very popular for its taste and convenience to cook. It makes
our breakfast easy as well. However, choosing the best one is a tricky propo-
sition. To make the buying decision easier and hassle free, we evaluated 5
popular 3 minutes masala oats and brought the results in the following com-

Ashok Kanchan

W e chose five popular brands of 3 their labels. All brands claim 3 minutes cooking
minutes masala oats to interpret time.
the nutritional information given on

Sl. No. Brand Label Declaration Manufacturer / Marketer
1 Bagrry’s Masala Oats Bagarry’s India Ltd.
2 Kosh Bengal Spice Mix Oats Future Consumer Ltd.
3 Patanjali Masala Oats Patanjali Ayurved Ltd.
4 Quaker Masala Oats PepsiCo India Holdings Pvt. Ltd.
5 Saffola Masala Oats Marico Ltd.


Decoding Food Labels

As per the Indian Regulation, Food Safety and can be met by adopting a diet that incorporates
Standards (Packaging & Labeling) Regulations, plant origin foods including fruits, vegetables
2011, mandatory nutritional information or and grains.
nutritional facts per 100gram or 100 milli litre
or per serving of the product should be given
on the label including the following

1. Energy value in kilo calories.

2. The amounts of protein, carbohydrate
(specify quantity of sugar) and fat in gram
(gram) or milli litre.

3. The amount of any other nutrient for
which a nutrition or health claim is made.

Declaration of salt and dietary fibre is not

Recommended Dietary Allowances
(RDA) for Indians

Manual of Dietary Guidelines for Indians,
2011 of Indian Council of Medical Research
defines RDA as the average daily dietary
nutrient intake level sufficient to meet the
nutrient requirement of nearly all (97 to 98
per cent) healthy individuals in the
particular life stage and gender group.

Dietary Fibre

Dietary Fibre refers to plant cell wall
components that are not digestible by human
digestive enzymes. Dietary fiber requirement

Energy, Protein and Dietary Fibre

Sl. Brand Energy Protein Dietary Fibre
In 100 % of RDA for In 100 gram % RDA In 100 gram % RDA (WHO
1 Bagrry’s gram
2 Kosh (kcal) woman doing (gram) for man (gram) Recommenda
3 Patanjali
4 Quaker 366.7 sedentary work) tion)
5 Saffola 398.0
19.3 13.0 21.7 9.0 30.0
20.9 10.5 17.5 8.0 26.7
19.2 11.3 18.8 9.8 32.7
20.3 10.0 16.7 8.7 29.0

21.1 8.8 14.7 12.4 41.3


Decoding Food Labels

Benefits of a high-fibre diet ● Highest dietary fibre was found in Saffola
and lowest in Kosh.
● Normalizes bowel movements.
● Helps maintain bowel health. ● Consuming 100 gram of Bagrry’s Masala
● Lowers cholesterol levels. Oats by a person means 30 per cent of his
● Helps control blood sugar levels. / her daily requirement of dietary fibre is
● Aids in achieving healthy weight. met.

The WHO Committee on chronic degenerative Legal Provisions for Dietary Fibre Claim
diseases recommended a daily intake of 30 in Food Products
gram dietary fibre.
As per the Food Safety and Standards
Key Findings (Advertising and Claims) Regulations 2018,
dietary fibre claim on food products label can
● Highest energy value was found in Saffola be mentioned with following conditions:
and lowest in Patanjali.
1. For claim that food product is a ‘Source’
● Consuming 100 gram of Quaker Masala of dietary fibre, product should contain at
Oats by woman engaged in sedentary least 3 gram fibre per 100 gram or 1.5 gram
work means about one-fifth (20.3 per cent) per 100 kcal energy value.
of her daily requirement is met.
2. For claim that food product is a ‘High or
● Highest protein value was found in Rich’ of dietary fibre, product should
Bagrry’s and lowest in Saffola. contain at least 6 gram fibre per 100 gram
or 3 gram per 100 kcal energy value.
● Consuming 100 gram Patanjali Masala Oats
by a man means 18.8 per cent of his daily Key Finding
requirement of protein is met.
● According to the above regulations, all the
CONSUMER VOICE ● JANUARY 2020 5 brands can claim ‘High or Rich’ in dietary
fibre on their label.

Traffic Light Labeling

Foods which are high in fat, sugar and salt are
linked with obesity and non-communicable
diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and
high blood pressure. Food Standards Agency
of United Kingdom (U.K.) developed Traffic
Light Labeling guidelines to help consumer:

● To correctly identify healthier food

● Assists consumers to make comparisons
between products easily.

● To make these comparisons at a glance.

The above labeling system however is not
followed in India.

The food criteria were set as follows (per 100
gram food)


Decoding Food Labels

Ingredient Green (Low content) Amber (Medium content) Red (High content)
Fat more than 17.5 gram
less than or equal More than 3 gram to
Sugar 3 gram 17.5 gram more than 22.5 gram

Salt less than or equal More than 5 gram to more than 1.5 gram
5 gram 22.5 gram

less than or equal More than 0.3 gram to
0.3 gram 1.5 gram

Results will be interpreted, which can be easily understood as follows:
Green: Eat often (Desirable)
Amber: Eat occasionally (Neutral)
Red: Eat sparingly (Undesirable)

Traffic Light

Sl. Brand Fat Sugar Salt
In 100 gram Traffic In 100 gram Traffic In 100 gram Traffic
1 Bagrry’s
2 Kosh (gram) Light (gram) Light (gram) Light
3 Patanjali
4 Quaker 7.6 Amber 3.8 Green NM -
5 Saffola
10.0 Amber 7.5 Amber NM -

7.0 Amber 8.4 Amber 8.5* Red

9.0 Amber 10.0 Amber 4.8* Red

9.9 Amber 5.1 Amber NM -

NM - Not Mentioned
*Sodium multiplied by 2.54


Decoding Food Labels

Key Findings food products label is not mandatory. We
found Patanjali and Quaker had declared
● Traffic light for fat is amber for all the 5 sodium in nutrition information table. This
brands which means one may consume all is consumer friendly step on the part of
these brands occasionally. these brands.

● Traffic light for sugar is green for Bagrry’s. ● Traffic light for salt is red for brands such
It implies that one may consume this as Patanjali and Quaker, it means one may
brand often. For rest of the four brands consume these brands sparingly.
traffic is amber, which means one may
consume these brands occasionally. Unit Price

● As per Indian regulation, declaration of Unit price gives fair idea about cheaper and
sodium/salt in nutrition information on costlier brands.

Sl. No. Brand Maximum Retail Declared Net Unit Price(Price
Price (MRP)(Rs.) Weight (gram) per 100 gram) (Rs.)
1 Bagrry’s
2 Kosh 15.00 40 37.50
3 Patanjali 18.00 40 45.00
4 Quaker 65.00 200 32.50
5 Saffola 10.00 28 35.71
15.00 38 39.47

Key Finding 19

As per unit price, the cheapest brand is Patanjai and costliest is Kosh.


Food & Stuff

The food paradox: Scarcity insufficiency

It is indeed a strange paradox. According to the United Nations’ Food and
Agriculture Organization (FAO), although India is one of the largest food
producers of the world, but about 194 million Indians go hungry daily. The
World Economic Forum has however highlighted that food production is not
the main issue, but food waste is. A closer look!

Richa Pande

T he country’s requirement to feed its Food and Water Wastages
population is 225-230 million tonnes
of food per year and the farm output More than14.5 per cent of the country’s
say in 2015-2016 was more than 270 million population is unable to afford fresh, clean, safe
tonnes. On the one hand, we are dealing with and nutritious food. And ironically, an
issues such as food and nutrition insecurity; equivalent amount of this food ends up in
on the other, there are reports of tonnes of food dustbins and then in landfills and rots there.
crops, fruits, and vegetables being put to waste. Food wastage also has a knock-on effect on the
In such a scenario, what are the solutions we environment and climate change. A
have in hand? considerable amount of water is used up and


Food & Stuff

greenhouse gases are generated during it leads to the production of methane, which is
production in transport and in preparation of also a greenhouse gas.
the food item that has been put to waste–a
process that leads to deforestation and climate The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
changes. According to an FAO report, globally in its report titled-Food Wastage Footprint:
the food wastage is more than one-third of the Impacts on Natural Resources stated that food
food produced and the food that is not eaten security is not possible without preventing food
results in waste of water equivalent to the water wastage. Studying global food waste from an
of Russia’s Volga River. More than 3 billion environmental perspective, this report further
tonnes of dangerous greenhouse gases are says that the wastage of food leads to a very
emitted in the production of this food that goes negative impact on water, land, and climate as
wasted. The produce of about 28 per cent of well as on biodiversity.
the world’s land, which has an area of 1.4 billion
hectares simply goes down the drain. Sounding Food wastage is prevalent almost everywhere-
a warning bell, the report says that due to our with the highs and lows in underdeveloped and
negligence and inappropriate activities, this in the developed countries, respectively-and
one-third of the grains produced which is this causes the global economy a huge loss.
wasted is about 1.3 billion tonnes, while 87 According to this report, food wastage includes
million people worldwide are constrained to both food loss and food waste. Food loss refers
starve. Wastage also implies more production to a decrease in the quantity and quality of food
necessary to meet the enhanced food during production, harvesting, post-harvest
requirements – meaning more greenhouse gas handling, processing and in the distribution
emissions. Besides, when foods rot in landfills, of food. This is often referred to as upstream
food wastage i.e. wastage at the production

Food & Stuff

Upstream Wastage /Food Loss Downstream Wastage/ Food Waste

1. Wastage at the production level due to 1. Food losses that result from discarding
the inability to improvise on technology. food that is fit for human consumption.
This occurs at the consumption level I
2. Post-harvest losses due to improper households, restaurants and in abandon
planning, pest infestations, spoiling/ during parties esp. at marriage functions.
deterioration of perishable goods during
transit. 2. Losses on account of the deterioration of
food quality resulting from over stacking
3. Limited access to core infrastructural at supermarkets and also at homes.
facilities such as roads, water and power
and storage capabilities for the farm
produce resulting in their short life.

level. Obsolete farming technology, weather or wasted. This food wastage, however, isn’t
vagaries, poor soil fertility management and limited to just one level, but is prevalent in all
wariness to genetically modified seeds are stages; from harvesting, processing, packaging,
responsible for considerable production losses. and transporting to the end stage of
This is further aggravated by post-harvest consumption. Globally, food wastage follows a
losses that occur due to improper planning, significant pattern. Downstream wastage is
pest infestations, improper and inadequate generally observed in high-income countries
storage facilities, poor preservation facilities for while upstream wastage is the malady in low-
perishable goods like fruits and vegetables- income countries. Accordingly, food losses due
resulting in heavy losses in transit-and limited to post-harvest handling of agricultural
access to core facilities such as roads, water, production have been relatively more prevalent
power, and transport. Food wastage,
on the other hand, implies food losses
resulting from a discard of food fit for
human consumption. This
encompasses wastage in the
household, at supermarkets, and in
the restaurants i.e. at the consumption
level. This is also referred to as
downstream food wastage. Factors
responsible for downstream food
wastage are-lack of consumer
awareness, individual food habits and
taste preferences, improper
refrigeration in storage and stacking
tendencies- in the household, by
restaurant owners and grocery
retailers, etc.

Across Level Food Wastage

As per a UN report, 40 per cent of the
food produced in India is either lost


Food & Stuff

in India compared to the wastage at the post-harvest losses reduce the
consumption level but of late the wastage at amount of food available for
the consumption level too has grown, the population and thus
alarmingly increase food insecurity. The
deterioration in nutritional
According to a report by the Indian Institute quality adds to nutrition
of Public Administration, 23 million tonnes of insecurity.
pulses, 120 million tonnes of fruits and 21
million tonnes of vegetables in India deteriorate Food loss has a significant
every year due to lack of proper storage impact on the price of food.
facilities and defects in the distribution. As is Food wastage influences the
evident, perishables such as fruits and availability of food items to the
vegetables are the top food items wasted in consumer. If demand for a
India. This is because of grossly inadequate food product is high and
cold storage infrastructure. Reefer container supply inadequate due to a
technology has helped arrest this trend to a significant amount of food
large extent in most developed and developing getting spoilt - due to
countries but is still in the nascent stage mishandling or improper
progress in India as it requires huge storage - the price of the food
infrastructure investment and also due to the product will, inevitably,
other infrastructural requirements like roads, increase. This can result in the food item
power, and transport. Cereals too are damaged becoming a scarce and unaffordable
due to post-harvest mishandling and commodity. Affordability is closely linked with
inadequate infrastructure for storage–godowns both food and nutrition security. This could
and warehouses. The post-harvest mishandling be understood with an example- In India, fruits
and improper storage serve to reduce the and vegetables are often damaged during
quality of food and could even result in it transport or perish before they reach the food
becoming unfit for human consumption. The market; this makes them an expensive
commodity for the lower socio-economic
CONSUMER VOICE ● JANUARY 2020 group. A constant lack of this food group in
their diets will generate nutrition insecurity
amongst them. Prevention of food wastage will
help increase the supply of the commodity in
the market and thereby reduction in the
procurement cost to the consumer.

Reduction in Food Wastage at
Consumers’ Level

According to FAO, food wastage occurs due to
the decrease in the quantity/ quality of food
resulting from decisions and actions by
retailers, food service providers, and
consumers. This can be avoided in many ways-

a) The fresh farm products which tend to be
incongruent in terms of shape, size, and
color are often removed from stock by the
suppliers. For example- fruits and


Food & Stuff

vegetables of odd shapes which, food items could be picked up and
incidentally, are equally nutritious and earmarked for early consumption.
appetizing, are removed at the time of
sorting by the supply chain managers. c) Due to poor planning, a large quantity of
This is because of a common notion that good unconsumed food is discarded by
consumers might not purchase them. So, restaurants, eating joints and institutional
if the consumers could be encouraged to establishments like hostels and canteens
also purchase such fruit and vegetables, every day. With a little planning, this food
they wouldn’t be discarded. could be distributed to the needy. Many
NGOs are doing commendable work in
b) It’s wise not to consume food items beyond this area.
the expiry date. Some retailers and
consumers discard the food items when Awareness is needed to break this food
they are close to the expiry date. paradox. Many policies have been formulated
Consumers also tend not to pick up such to minimize food loss. Consumers need to be
food items from the display shelves in the regularly sensitized to minimize food waste at
supermarket. With a little planning, these the household level.

FAO’s 9 Consumer-Friendly Tips to Reduce Food Wastage

In The End have been bestowed with plenty of resources;
let’s utilize them sensibly so that none is
The minimization in food loss and waste would deprived of the basic requirement to survive
lead to efficient land usage, improvement in in this world–healthy and nutritious food.
the status of food and nutrition insecurity and
have a positive impact on climate change. We CONSUMER VOICE ● JANUARY 2020


Product Survey

Home Air Purifiers

Because everyone deserves to breathe in clean air

Why do we need air purifiers in the first place? What does pollution in the air mean?
For us in Delhi-NCR, we will be inclined to equate air pollution with PM 2.5 particles
(yes, those very tiny particles that can be seen only with an electron microscope
and that has intermittently held the national capital region in a daze with the dan-
gerous haze it generated). In the larger context, though, there are other airborne
contaminants like bacterial and virus particulates, smoke particles, dust, pollen,
pet dander, mold spores, and so on. This report is an attempt to understand how
air purifiers work to serve their basic purpose, and how they can do this job best.
We have also compared the leading models of air purifiers available in the Indian
market, in terms of parameters like their air-delivery rate, coverage area, power
consumption, noise level, price and warranty. While brands will do what they have
to in order to sell their wares, we as consumers must take sensible precautions to
understand the technology we are getting into our homes and what the give and
take is.


Product Survey

An air purifier is a device that removes Types of Home Air Purifier
contaminants (including PM 2.5
particles) from the air in a room. It does A good-quality air purifier will do a great job
it by sucking in the air present in the room of cleaning the air in your home. The most
and running it through multiple layers of filters helpful purifiers will do this automatically
to capture the impurities and particulate when they sense a dip in air quality. But there
matter. These devices are commonly marketed are plenty of air purifiers that are not powerful
as being beneficial to allergy sufferers and enough to clean air quickly enough. As it’s
asthmatics, and also effective at reducing or important to buy an air purifier that does a
eliminating secondhand tobacco smoke. Air good job of cleaning air quickly, it’s worth doing
purifiers are becoming increasingly capable of some research before heading to buy a new
capturing a greater number of bacterial, virus machine.
and DNA-damaging particulates. High-
efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters remove ● HEPA filters remove at least 99.97 per
particles by capturing them on filter materials cent of 0.3-micrometer particles and are
and can clear the air of dust, pollen, pet dander, usually more effective at removing larger
smoke, etc. The commercially graded air particles. HEPA purifiers, which filter all
purifiers are manufactured as either small the air going into a clean room, must be
standalone units or larger units that can be arranged so that no air bypasses the HEPA
affixed to an air-handler unit. filter.

Dust, pollen, pet dander, etc., can act as In dusty environments, a HEPA filter may
allergens, triggering allergies in sensitive follow an easily cleaned conventional filter
people. Smoke particles and volatile (prefilter) that removes coarser impurities
organic compounds (VOCs, a term for so that the HEPA filter needs cleaning or
gases that are emitted from many different replacing less frequently. HEPA filters do
sources including paints, printers and not generate ozone or harmful byproducts
cleaning supplies) can pose a risk to health. in course of operation.


HVAC (heating, ventilating and air Product Survey
conditioning) filters at MERV 14 or above are
rated to remove airborne particles of 0.3 Make Your Air Purifier Work for You
micrometers to 1.0 micrometers. The capture
rate of MERV filters is lower than that of HEPA ● You have to shut the door of the room
filters. for the air purifier to make any
difference. It’s ineffective in a room
What is MERV? where the door opens multiple times
or even in open cabins or large
Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) lobbies.
is a standard that rates the overall effectiveness
of air filters, specifically large purifiers intended ● Next, clean the pre-filter and replace
to clean an entire house or building. Higher- the HEPA filter exactly at the time it’s
value MERV rating equates to finer filtration, specified.
meaning fewer dust particles and other
airborne contaminants can pass through the § Place it in the most uncluttered area
filter. of the room so that it can suck in
more air. Run it continuously when
● Activated carbon is a porous material that you are in the room.
can absorb volatile chemicals on a
molecular basis but does not remove larger § Monitor its efficiency with an
particles. Activated carbon is merely a external AQI monitoring device kept
process of changing contaminants from a on the opposite side of the room.
gaseous phase to a solid phase; it is Remember that very few brands of
normally used in conjunction with other air purifiers tell us all the
filter technology, especially with HEPA. specifications.

● Ionizer purifiers use charged electrical
surfaces or needles to generate electrically
charged air or gas ions. These ions attach
to airborne particles that are then
electrostatically attracted to a charged
collector plate. This mechanism produces
trace amount of ozone and other oxidant
as byproduct. Most ionizers produce less
than 0.05 ppm of ozone – an industrial
safety standard.

Comparison Chart of Home Air

For our survey, we shortlisted models of
popular brands of air purifiers. We
conducted the survey during December


Product Survey

Brands Model no Clean Air Power Noise Coverage Warranty, Price,
delivery consump- level,
area, year Rs.
rate, tion, db
m3/hr watt sq ft

Kent Alps15004 400 55 54 463 1 16499

Alps Plus15007 400 60 54 463 1 16000

Philips AC 1215 270 50 33 677 2 9,799.

AC 2882 333 56 20.5 851 2 15,990

AC 2887 333 56 20.5 851 2 15,999

AC 3256 397 60 33 1027 2 23,999

Honey well HAC25M1201W 250 53 46 323 3 8000

Panasonic F-PXM55AAD 286 11 18 452 1 18,264

F-PXL45ASD 233 13 63 355 1 26,885

F-PXM35AAD 199 9 21 283 1 17223

Sharp FP-F30E-H 180 51 47 220 2 12,999

Daikin MC30UVM6 180 16 44 495 1 11,500

MC70MMVM6 420 65 48 495 1 18,990

LG AS95GDWT0 980 75 52 730 10 67,598

AS60GDWT0 624 40 49 430 10 43,985

Blue air Classic 280i 340 80 56 279 28,508

Blue Pure 211 590 61 56 540 19,175

Blue Pure 121 620 61 56 620 24,974

Pure it H201 220 55 <49 550 1 14,700

H101 192 55 <50 480 1 8,999

Tefal Intense Pure Air

PU6025O1 150 80 28-52 376 2 11,499

Xiaomi 2 AC M2 AA 400 31 30 400 1 8,790

Crompton Doctor 500 95 450 2 16,999

· Therapure 216 45 2 9, 999

Blue Star BS-AP490LAN 915 CMH 915 88 800 11,540

BS-AP300DAI 444CMH 444 43 300 2 7,944

Havells Freshia AP 40 350 80 755 2 13,989

Samsung AX40K3020WU/NA 325.7 35 420 1 10,588

Prestige Air Purifier 4.0 55 385 1 11, 458

Aeroguard Breeze 150 22 30 200 1 11670

Eurekaforbes Dr. Aeroguard HPA 500 318 80 58.6 893 1 19,990

Dr. Aeroguard SCPR 660H 400 17-120 656 1 37,990

Dr. Aeroguard SCPR 600 360 17-65 603 1 24,990

Mi AC-M8-SC 350 29 452 1 6,499

AC-M6-SC 380 38 484 1 9,999

Dyson TP03 58 64.4 2 35,900

DP04 40 450 2 38,900

BP01 250 2 25,900

Coway Sleek Pro AP-1009 303 38 22-49 355 1+3 16,490

Resideo RESI-1618 500 55 645 2 17,999

Note: Prices may vary from retailer to retailer. please check at or


Product Survey

Know These Terms on an average the bigger air purifier costs
around Rs 13,000 a year and the smaller one
CADR: The clean air delivery rate tells you about Rs 7,500 per year.
the volume of filtered air that the device
can blow out. This is critical because a Consumers’ Concerns
higher CADR number is what you are
looking for. a) Of primary concern are the other aspects of
air cleaners including hazardous gaseous
ACH: This stands for air changes per hour. byproducts, noise level, frequency of filter
Each purifier comes with a room size replacement, and electrical consumption.
rating. What is important is how quickly Ozone production is typical of air-ionizing
the purifier can change all of the air in that purifiers. Although a high concentration of
given space per hour. ACH rating of six to ozone is dangerous, most air ionizers produce
eight is a must. low amounts (<0.05 ppm). Frequency of filter
replacement and electrical consumption are the
CFM: The cubic feet per minute measures major operation costs for any purifier.
how many cubic feet of air move through
the unit per minute. You need a higher b) HEPA technology is used in portable air
CFM. purifiers as it removes common airborne
allergens. The HEPA specification requires
Operating cost: Electricity consumption is not removal of at least 99.97 per cent of 0.3
the only running cost of an air purifier. The micrometer airborne pollutants. Products that
real expense is the cost of replaceable filters. claim to be HEPA-type, HEPA-like or 99 per
The bigger air-purifier filter costs about Rs cent HEPA do not satisfy these requirements
8,000 and has to be changed every 7 months and may not have been tested in independent
or so; filter of a smaller one costs around Rs laboratories.
5,000 and needs changing every 8 months. So,
c) Air purifiers may be rated on a variety of
CONSUMER VOICE ● JANUARY 2020 factors, including clean air delivery rate (which


Product Survey

determines how well the air has been purified), Improve the Air Quality in Your Home
efficient area coverage, air changes per hour,
energy usage and the cost of the replacement Fully insulated homes, with windows double-
filters. Two other important factors to consider glazed and lofts lagged, save on energy costs.
are the length that the filters are expected to But this can also seal in the pollutants that are
last (measured in months or years) and the found in the home. These pollutants are created
noise produced (measured in decibels) by the while cooking, from using cleaning products
various settings that the purifier runs on. and toiletries, or from an open fire. Buying a
good-quality air purifier is one way of tackling
30 the problem of indoor air pollution. But there
are other steps you can take that will help to
improve the quality of the indoor air you
breathe – including keeping your home well-

● Open the windows: Open the windows
to ventilate your home. This is the easiest
way of removing polluting particles from
the air in your living space. Avoid blocking
existing permanent ventilation features,
such as air bricks and trickle vents on

● Vacuum regularly: Make sure you
vacuum floors regularly to remove
polluting particles that can build up, such
as dust and pet hair, which can impact on
the quality of the air you breathe. The best


Product Survey

vacuum cleaners will pick up twice as and cleaning products. Opening a window
much dust as the worst, and they are will help, too, and it will help you to reduce
much better at stopping the dust from condensation and deal with damp. If you
leaking back into your room. suffer from damp, find out which kind of
damp is affecting your home.
● Hard floors versus carpets: Carpets can
give a warm and homely feel to a home ● Electric chimney/cooker hoods and
but also causes indoor air pollution. But kitchen exhaust fans: Electric chimney/
it’s easier to keep hard floors clean and cooker hoods and exhaust fans in the
remove allergens. kitchen should be switched on during and
after cooking to clear the air. And consider
● Use bathroom fans to clear the air: Use an extracting, rather than re-circulating,
exhaust/fresh air fan in your bathroom to cooker hood that actually vents the air
remove the after-effects of using toiletries away.

Take These Steps

● When painting and decorating, make sure that paint and solvent smells have gone before
using the room again. Pollution is outside as well as indoors if you live near a busy road;
keep the windows closed during hours of peak traffic. If you suffer from hay fever, try
closing the windows when the pollen count is highest in the morning.

● Vacuum often and thoroughly with a vacuum with HEPA filtration.

● Ban smoking indoors, especially dhoops/agarbattis.

● Maintain your heating and cooling equipment and change air filters regularly.

● Minimise use of candles and wood fires.

● Use exhaust fans in kitchen, bath and laundry areas.

● Don’t store chemicals, solvents, glues, or pesticides near your living quarters.

● If pollen or related allergies keep you from opening windows, run your air conditioner or
forced-air cooling system with a clean air filter.

Note to Consumers

Notwithstanding the fact that most air-purifier companies are selling you products by scaring
you, selling devices with exaggerated features that you don’t need, remember that an air
purifier is a simple device with a fan that sucks in air and blows it out and has a filter(s) that
cleans that air. There is nothing else to it. A lot of manufacturers claim very high clean air
delivery rates, but there really is no industry standard. You need to have a general idea about
the room size where you will use it. Most air purifiers are sold based on high-sounding, self-
named technology, looks and number of filters, while its efficiency lies elsewhere.
Unfortunately, there is a bit of jargon and acronyms involved. Pay heed as this really matters.



Health Insurance Policy for Senior Citizens
Choose Better with Ease

With medical inflation growing at 15 per cent per year, the cost of procedures
like angiography and gall bladder removal has increased tremendously, a
report released by KPMG and Assocham noted. Around 38 per cent of the
elderly respondents to the survey in India ranked health and financial insecurity
among the key fears. Low insurance penetration in India means many senior
citizens lack the resources to fund treatment. While this is a harsh fact in
India, lack of knowledge in choosing the best health insurance works as a
lacuna. To provide our readers with the best information on the health
insurance policy for senior citizens, we made a product comparison of 6
Health Insurance Companies. We reviewed their service charges, treatment
and disease cover among others and identified the best one. The following
comparison report will prove a ready-reference for those looking for suitable
health insurance to safeguard old-age medical treatment.

Subas Tiwari & Gopal Ravi Kumar



Homogenous products offered by Justification for Assigning Points for the
Health Insurance Companies are Chosen Variables
chosen based on the information
being made available in their websites/ Once the product structure is in place, then
customer care helpline numbers and the we assess the service aspect and the quality
product is analyzed based on consumer offered by them based on the QoS Matrix and
perception/ feedback on variables which based on the consumer feedback received on
affect them as being most/more important a structured questionnaire which is obtained
and most/more beneficial from the from senior citizens at large and product users,
consumer-user point of view. Points are then after which points are assigned to differentiate
assigned on a scale to differentiate the quality the quality of the service. Thereafter both the
of the product offered to arrive at the best- product-points and service-points are collated
structured product. to find out whose offering is the best in the
market for the information and future use by
the senior citizens.

CV Health Insurance Manipal Cigna/ Apollo Munich/ ICICI Lombard/ Religare Health/ Star Health/ Bajaj Allianz/
Weightage For Senior Citizen Pro-Health
(criteria) Optima Complete Care Freedom 1 Senior Citizens Silver Health
Points 100
Senior Health Red Carpet

5 Sum Insured (Min Rs. in lakhs) 3.00 (2) 2.00 (3) 3.00 (2) 2.00 (3) 1.00 (4) 0.50 (5)

10 Sum Insured (Max Rs. in lakhs) 50.00 (10) 5.00 (3) 50.00 (10) 5.00 (3) 7.50 (5) 5.00 (3)

14 The premium for *31815(27270) (2) 19201 (10) **39588(23752) (5) 20866 (10) 12900 (15) 21006 (10)
Rs.3 lacs for 70 Yrs (Rs.)

5 Max Entry Age (Yrs) Any (5) Any (5) Any (5) Any (5) 75 (3) 70 (1)

5 Co-Paymentt (Min in %) 20 (3) 15 (5) NS (0) 20 (3) 30 (1) 20 (3)

5 PED Waiting Period (in Yrs) 4 (1) 3 (3) 2 (5) 2 (5) 2 (5) 4 (1)

6 Pre-hospitalization 60 D (6) 30 D (3) 30 D (3) 375K (4) 30 D (3) 15K (1)

6 Post-hospitalization 90 D (6) 60 D (6) 60 D (6) 375K (4) 5K (1) 15K (1)

5 Day-care coverage Any (5) Limited (2) Any (5) Any (5) Any (5) Limited (2)

5 Organ Donor exp Covered (5) Covered (5) Covered (5) NS (0) NS (0) NS (0)

8 Domicillary Treatment Covered (8) Covered (8) NS (0) 50K (2) NS (0) NS (0)

5 Emergency Ambulance (in Rs.) 2K (5) 2K (5) 1.5K (4) 1K (3) 1.2K (3) 1K (3)

5 Restoration of Sum Insured Available Yes (5) No (0) Yes (5) Yes (5) No (0) No (0)

15 Consumer Feedback 9 11 3 1 5 10

Total 72 69 58 53 50 40

N0TE -

● Information given here has been resourced from the website/brochures/customer care as of 05.12.2019.

● Sum Assured and premium are dependent upon individual covers opted, a period of insurance and risk-bearing criteria.
● We have selected for this study only those insurance companies which offer Senior Citizen Health Insurance Policy Age

of 70 years and above
● *SI 3.5 lakhs- Prorata premium calculated for Rs. 3 lakhs (indicative)
● ** 5 lakhs- Prorata premium calculated for Rs. 3 lakhs (Indicative)

● D- Days, K- 000’s



CV Recommendation (portability) in case they are not satisfied with
their current health insurance provider.
Best Buy Manipal Cigna - Pro Health
Consumer Voice readers might be aware of the
Senior Citizen Health Insurance: A fact that it carried out a story on the same
Necessity subject in May 2014. We at the BFSI Desk of
CV wanted updated information as there have
Senior citizen health insurance is a necessity been subtle changes brought out by the Health
especially when you are planning to retire or Insurance Companies under the regulatory
already retired and carry on life on a pension control of IRDAI.
or interest income from savings. A sudden
medical emergency can result in a financial Group Insurance Scheme
crisis other than health setbacks. To avoid this,
it is prudent to take a comprehensive senior Senior citizens must get health cover to evade
citizen medi-claim policy. health problems and avoid financial shock.
Many aged individuals are worried about the
According to the guidelines by IRDA, every spiraling cost of healthcare and what havoc it
health insurance provider has to mandatorily could do to their financial security. The need
offer health coverage to individuals up to 65 for a health insurance cover is all the more
years of age. However, most of the Health necessary for those who enjoyed the health
Insurance Companies are offering health cover under the ‘Group Insurance Scheme’
coverage to senior citizens aged more than 65 floated by the insurance companies under a
years and even up to their platinum years. tie-up with their organization (both
These guidelines will not only help individuals government-owned and private sector
to get coverage at later stages of their life but companies). Till their retirement, the
will also allow them to shift insurers employees/officers were covered under this
Scheme, but the cover ceases abruptly
immediately after their superannuation. Then
the employee gets the ‘senior citizen’ tag and

with it comes
the financial
limitation to
live off his
benefits and
the sudden
of his health
cover causing
him anxiety.

We have also
come across
instances of
not bothering
to take any



sort of health cover during their service years hospitalization period, however, the
especially in the unorganized sector and under number of days it is made available before/
the self-employed category. after hospitalization will vary across
Sum Insured (health insurance cover)
● Domiciliary Treatment
Based on the financial capacity/affordability of The medical expenses incurred by an
the insured, we have opted for a Rs.3, 00,000 insured for availing medical treatment at
health insurance policy, as market indices his/her home which would otherwise have
indicate that an average man/woman above 60 required hospitalization (non-admission
years of age would be able to meet his medical due to non-availability of beds or that the
treatment (excluding major lifelong diseases) patient cannot be moved due to his poor
within this amount if he does not suffer from medical condition duly certified by the
any serious medical complication at the time hospital).
of taking a health insurance policy.
● Organ Donation
Major Inclusions in a Senior Citizens These are medical expenses on harvesting
Health Insurance Policy the organ from the donor at the time of
such organ transplants but do not cover
● In-patient Treatment the cost of the organ itself.
Covers medical expenses for
hospitalization due to an illness or accident. ● Co-payment
This term means that this is a cost-sharing
● Hospitalization Cover requirement where the policyholder/
Expenses incurred as a patient after insured will bear a specified percentage of
admission for more than 24 hrs. The the admissible claim amount. However,
expenses include room charges, doctor this does not reduce the sum insured. It’s
fees, minor surgery cost, cost of medicine a kind of margin money the patient
and drugs, etc. brings in while getting admitted for
cashless treatment. This is often resorted
● Day Care to by health insurance companies as the
Expenses that arise from the use of special cost of treatment for senior citizens
types of equipment or procedures like could be high and this clause ensures
chemotherapy, dialysis, etc. that at least a part of the cost is picked
up by the insured.
● Pre and Post Hospitalization
Medical expenses for the pre and post- ● Tax Benefits To Senior Citizens (60-80
Years Of Age) On Health Insurance
Under Section 80 (D)

This deduction is exclusive of other income tax
deductions available to the senior citizen. This
section offers deduction from the total income
of up to Rs.25,000 each assessment year for a
premium paid on a health insurance policy.
The claim can also be eligible for an Annual
Health check-up up to Rs.5, 000.



However, for senior citizens, the exemption his options in a major way while the senior
goes up to Rs.50, 000. citizen chooses a policy.

Under Section 80 (DDB) ● Domiciliary Treatment
These are the expenses incurred in case a
Any expenditure incurred by a senior citizen patient is being treated at home due to the
for medical treatment of self and suffering from non-availability of beds in the hospital or
terminal diseases like Cancer, AIDS, Renal if the patient is not in a medical condition
Failure, etc is available up to Rs.60,000. to be moved to a hospital.

Tax Benefits for Very Senior Citizens What Attracts a Senior Citizen in a
(80+ Years) Section 80 D Policy?

Income tax exemptions for very senior citizens ● To make it an attractive buy, the health
are available up to Rs.30,000 per assessment insurance companies can tinker with the
year. Pre Existing Disease waiting period to 1-
year minimum, as at their age, it is foolish
Section 80 DDB to expect a very robust health profile and
most of them would be carrying some
For the treatment of specified illnesses, very ailment or the other on them, which would
senior citizens can get income tax exemption be as a result of the age factor and the
up to Rs.80, 000. nature’s way of decay.

Major exclusions in the policy ● Out Patient treatment (OPD) of ailments
not categorized as lifelong diseases and also
● Cosmetic surgery. not requiring hospitalization could be
● Dental treatment. included as one of the basic covers or add-
● Aesthetic treatment. on covers with additional premium.
● Plastic surgery.
● Weight reduction procedures. Important Takeaways
● AIDS/ Sexually Transmitted Diseases
● Go for the minimum waiting period for
● Stem cell procedures.
● Robotic surgery ● Go for minimum co-payment.

Here’s how to understand difficult ● Go for top-up policy within the same
terminologies related to health insurance policy or a different insurer
insurance policies for senior citizens. for lifestyle diseases.

● Restoration of Sum Assured CONSUMER VOICE ● JANUARY 2020
In case of hospitalization, once your claim
for a particular disease/ailment is fully
exhausted, then you can invoke this basic
cover for any other ailment within the same
policy period.

● Day Care Cover
They are important for the consumer as it
reduces his cost or covers additional
medical expenses but is not going to alter


BFSI Guide

All about online frauds and how to protect
yourself from them?

With the growing number of online transactions and interactions, a large
number of consumers falling prey to online frauds. According to a source
from the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology, Govt. of India, a
smaller amount of frauds of Rs. 1,00,000 and less have been on the rise. In
2017-18, the number was 32,732 whereas, in 2018-19, it reached 50,438.
Also, in 2017-2018, RBI reportedly recorded over 2000 cyber frauds at banks
amounting to over Rs.100 crore.

In such a scenario, consumers should wake Remote access app
up and brace themselves with adequate
knowledge and information related to In this type of fraud, fraudsters ask users to
online fraud. First of all, let’s understand how install screen-sharing apps such as
many types of online frauds are prevalent there. Screenshare, Anydesk, and Teamviewer and
use them to get access to bank credentials.
Request money fraud These apps are not malware but they do grant
access to your mobile data to third parties.
In this category of online fraud, fraudsters
misuse the requested feature on UPI by sending QR code fraud
fake payment requests with messages like
“Enter your UPI Pin to receive money”; Here, fraudsters share a QR code over
“Payment Successful-receive Rs. Xxx, etc.” WhatsApp asking for the code to be scanned
Here, one should note that you need to enter to receive money in their account. This QR
pin only for sending money. code (as available in some UPI apps) is, in fact,
a collect request and scanning and entering

BFSI Guide

your PIN is to accede to their request. Note asking her to update her KYC, she was
that you need to scan QR only to make prompted to enter her account details and the
payments. OTP received. So the lesson to be learned here
is-do not click on the links received through
SIM swap fraud SMS. Rely only on official websites to complete
the process, if required after ascertaining the
In this category, fraudsters manage to get a authenticity of the message.
duplicate SIM which provides them access to
one-time passwords. They do this by Fake UPI-based payment links
pretending to be from a mobile company and
asking you to forward an SMS containing the A fraudster asked the victim to transfer
SIM card number to activate the duplicate SIM. a nominal amount, say Rs.10 to a mobile
number from his digital wallet. It
Trap for gullible insurance seekers was perceived as a registration fee to initiate
an online purchase. Subsequently, he had
Scammers prey on an individual’s inability to to enter his UPI ID and OTP received;
spot the difference between the official and fake this information was used to transfer a
portals of the insurance regulator. Insurance huge sum. So, transact only through
Regulatory and Development Authority the official UPI-BHIM apps. Do not use links
(IRDAI) does not sell insurance policies, hence sent by unknown and unrecognized entities.
one should stay away from portals misusing
domains that are akin to regulators’ official Social media/impersonation fraud
ones to swindle funds.
Fraudsters track complaints in social media
Phishing SMS promising income tax and share fake contacts or impersonate bankers
refund or RBI officials in response to a post and ask
for confidential information that no banker is
An employee received a link, purportedly from supposed to ask for.
the IT Department regarding a tax refund, he
was eligible for. Once he clicked on the link, Largely, we all face the above type of fraudulent
he was directed to a mobile application that schemes, the trick is to only trust an authentic
got downloaded on his phone. It is to be noted source of information and not to share
that the IT Department directly credits the confidential details with anyone. As you can’t
refund to the bank account. So, do not trust stop receiving such tricky messages and emails,
any messages, links, online forms or calls the following list of do’s and don’ts will help
seeking additional account/card details. immensely:


These are mobile phone text messages to lure
victims to call back on a fraudulent mobile
number, link /download fraudulent websites
or downloading malicious content via phone
or web. So, never share your details such as
mobile number, email or establish links.

KYC update hoax

It happened with a senior administrative
officer. When she clicked on a fraudulent link


BFSI Guide

Do’s Examples of e-frauds

● Always hook up the organization’s 1) A resident in Mumbai lost Rs. 40, 000 when
website or the papers which tell you she tried to contact an HP Gas Agency after
their official phone numbers. getting the number on ‘Google Search’.
The customer executive asked her to fill a
● Avoid looking for contact details of ‘link’ that they sent her. The moment she
establishments through “Search ‘clicked’, 4 transactions were carried out
Engines”. from her account and she lost her money.
She later filed a police complaint.
2) A 25-year-old IIT student became a victim
● Seek solutions to your problem with of a UPI fraud when 3 transactions totaling
“Google Search”. to Rs.27, 000 were done through her
account. The fraud took place when she
● Opt for “PAY” or enter your UPI “PIN” tried to get in touch with the customer care
for receiving money. of an ‘online food service’ for a refund for
a ‘bad quality pizza’ delivered to her. The
● Share card number, expiry date, PIN, police later found that the customer care
OTP, etc with anyone. number had been ‘replaced’ to ‘dupe
● Download and install third-party apps
such as Screenshare, Anydesk, 3) A deputy manager with a mobile service
Teamviewer-enable/receive payments. provider lost Rs.1.25 lakh when he placed
a home delivery order for a wine bottle.
● Open spam email or from unknown The money was ‘gone’ within seconds after
sources or contacts or requests for he called the contact number of the winery
transferring money to your account. distributor that he found through an
‘online search’. The police later informed
● Search for helpline numbers on Google, the victim that the owner of the winery
Facebook, and Twitter. Always check had already filed a complaint that someone
the official site. has misused their shop name to draw
customers’ who are keen on home delivery.
● Respond to texts, emails from unknown
addresses to click on “links”. How to protect ourselves?

● Respond to phone calls/SMS messages ❖ Try to maintain 2 bank accounts-
in your mobile asking you to download Primary and secondary.
updated versions of the apps that you In the primary account keep all your saved
use for net banking. money and opt for a debit card, but do
not use the account for any other purposes.
● Respond to weird messages/phone calls Through the secondary account, conduct
that your account would be all your digital transactions and e-
‘deactivated’ or that ‘we (the fraudster) commerce payments including
are changing your debit/credit card’ or withdrawal of money from ATM. From
that ‘you should change your PIN by time to time, transfer money from the
clicking this ‘link”, etc. primary account to the secondary account
so that in the latter account, balance at all
times does not exceed Rs.10, 000.


BFSI Guide

❖ Credit cards vs. debit cards ❖ Inspect the
Use the credit card as much as possible; ATM briefly but
never use the debit card for online thoroughly before
shopping or at POS terminals. Any using your card
unauthorized transactions can always be It hardly takes 15-20
minimized with a nominal loss if you are seconds to check the
ever vigilant and act on alerts immediately. machine to ensure that
Also, it is a little difficult to make a duplicate there is no skimmer in
credit card whereas fraudsters can easily the slot, no apparent
clone your debit card. card outer cover or any
camera or device
❖ Get the card to be used in your presence watching you entering
only the PIN, etc.
Never let your cards out of your sight
especially when paying bills at restaurants. ❖ Ensure that no
Either you go to the POS machine or ask one watches you either
them to bring the machine over. Get the over the shoulder or in the ATM room
receipt for debit, check and tear always far Either request them to leave the room if
away from the place of debit. their work is over or wait till they leave or
else complain to the guard present there
❖ Hide the keypad while using your card or consumer care in mobile phones and
(at ATMs & POS) computers.
Those devices that you swipe that card with
have walls to hide your fingers so that no Never click on links that arrive in Whatsapp,
one can see what you are typing; if that is emails and text messages or passwords.
not adequate, cover the top of your hand
as well. Do not punch in the numbers by Grievance Redressal
making a fist and taking the index fingers
out. Instead, type like a person playing the ❖ As soon as you suspect a dubious
piano, i.e., all the 4 fingers resting or transaction through your mobile or app,
hovering over the keypad. disconnect the phone from the internet
❖ If any transaction was made, immediately
contact the concerned bank to stop the
transfer (of money).

❖ Take a screenshot of the malicious app and
the location from where it is downloaded.

❖ Bank statement of the victim’s account if
any (fraudulent) transactions were made.

❖ Save the soft copy of all the above-
mentioned documents in soft form and
provide them to the investigating officer
on CD-R (Compact Disc Recorder).

❖ Lodge a complaint in your police station
explaining the complete incidence along
with the above documents.


Legal Matters

The ex-parte order of the state
commission can be challenged

The Supreme Court has held that an ex-parte order passed by State
Consumer Commission can be challenged before the National Commission.

Ankur Saha

In the instant case, the bank was placed ex- Quoting Section 21 of the Consumer
parte before the state commission for Protection Act, 1986
failing to appear before it despite service of
notice. Subsequently, an application was filed A contention was raised before the High Court
by the bank to set aside the order placing it ex- by the appellant that an alternative and
parte, which came to be dismissed by the State efficacious remedy was available to the Bank
Commission on the ground that it does not in the form of an appeal before the National
have jurisdiction to recall its own prior order. Commission as provided under Section 21 of
As against this order, the respondent herein the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. However,
approached the High Court by filing a writ the High Court concluded that an appeal may
petition. Entertaining the same, the High Court not lie before the National Commission under
passed the impugned order and set aside the Section 21 of the Act and consequently there
order of the state commission placing the bank was no alternative remedy available to the bank.
ex parte. Based on this, the High Court entertained the
said writ petition and allowed the same by the
CONSUMER VOICE ● JANUARY 2020 impugned order.


Legal Matters

In view of the above, the only question to be have avoided entertaining the writ petition
decided in this appeal by this Court is whether against the order of the State Commission, in
the National Commission has jurisdiction to view of the availability of an alternative and
set aside an order of the State Commission efficacious remedy to the Bank.
placing a party ex-parte.
The Supreme Court said that the presence of
The Apex Court said that a plain reading of an alternative and efficacious remedy is not an
Section 21(a) (ii) read with Section 19 of the absolute bar on the jurisdiction of the High
Act makes it clear that the National Court under Article 226 of the Constitution,
Commission has jurisdiction to entertain and is a rule of discretion and self-imposed
appeals against the orders passed by the State limitation rather than that of law. However,
Commission. Section 21(a) (ii) does not state entertaining a writ petition in such a case
that appeals cannot be entertained against may be proper in certain circumstances,
orders that have been passed ex-parte. The for instance when an order has been passed
plain and simple meaning of the said provision in total violation of the principles of natural
is that appeals will be entertained by the justice, or has been passed invoking repealed
National Commission against any order passed provisions.
by the State Commission. The word “orders”
as used in Section 21(a) (ii) means and includes However, in the instant case, no such
“any orders”. Thus, an order of the State circumstance has been invoked. Thus,
Commission placing a particular party ex-parte propriety required the Bank to have
can also be questioned before the National approached the National Commission in view
Commission. of the availability of an alternative remedy
under a specific legislation. Thus, the Supreme
An alternative and efficacious remedy Court proposed to set aside the judgment of
to deal the issue the High Court.

Further, the Court said, the High Court could CONSUMER VOICE ● JANUARY 2020


Legal Matters

Know what to do when your appeal is

The Apex Court recently ruled out that a Consumer Forum/Commission could
not consider the merits of the matter after deciding that the complaint/appeal
was barred by limitation.

Ankur Saha

There was delay of 150 days in filing the come to the conclusion that the matter was
Appeal and the National Commission barred by limitation, could consider merits of
refused to condone a delay of 150 days the matter, was gone into by this Court in State
and consequently the Appeal stood dismissed. Bank of India vs. B.S. Agriculture Industries,
However, the National Commission observed where it was said that as a matter of law, the
that there was apparent lack of merits in the consumer forum must deal with the complaint
matter and thus dismissed the appeal on on merits only if the complaint has been filed
grounds of both an inordinate delay of 150 days within two years from the date of accrual of
as well as on an apparent lack of merits. cause of action and if beyond the said period,
the sufficient cause has been shown and delay
What was the issue? condoned for the reasons recorded in writing.
In other words, it is the duty of the consumer
The issue before the Supreme Court was forum to take notice of Section 24A and give
whether a Tribunal or a Forum, after having

Legal Matters

effect to it. If the complaint is barred by time would be no occasion for the Tribunal to
and yet, the consumer forum decides the enquire into the merits of the issues raised by
complaint on merits, the forum would be the Revenue.
committing an illegality and, therefore, the In the circumstances, the National
aggrieved party would be entitled to have such Commission, having found that the appeal was
order set aside.” barred by time, could not have dealt with
merits of the matter. In any case, the delay of
Time is mightier than merit of any 150 days, in the present circumstances, was
complaint not so alarming that the matter should have
been rejected on the ground of delay.
The aforesaid view was relied upon by the
Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court CONSUMER VOICE ● JANUARY 2020
in Commissioner, Customs, Central Excise and
Service Tax vs. Monsanto Manufacture Pvt. Ltd.
where the Tribunal came to the conclusion that
the demand by the Revenue was beyond the
period of limitation of one year prescribed
under Section 73(1) of the Finance Act, 1994
and that the period of five years could not have
been invoked. That part of the judgment of
the Tribunal has been confirmed in the
companion appeal. Once that be the position
and the Tribunal having came to the conclusion
that the extended period of limitation could
not have been validly applied, the Tribunal,
acted outside its jurisdiction in entering upon
the merits of the dispute on whether the
demand for duty should be confirmed. Once
it is held that the demand is time barred, there


Published on 5th of Every Month RNI No.: 72366/99
Posted on 6th & 7th of Every Month Postal Regd. No. DL/(S)-01-3262/2018-20

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