The pappadam in the kit distributed through Supplyco to the ration card holders for Onam is not edible. Testing at the DFRD in Ranni found that the moisture and sodium carbonate levels and pH values of the samples were above the allowable range. With this, there is a concern that pappadam can cause health problems. Earlier it was found that the jaggery in the kit was also substandard.
The moisture content of papaya should not exceed 12.5%. However, the moisture content of Onakkit pappadam is 16.06 percent. Sodium carbonate content should be within 2.3 percent and 2.44 percent. The pH value should not exceed 8.5. But in the samples, it is 9.20. The test results were obtained from samples from 81.27 lakh packets distributed in the first phase. The results of the samples from the five lakh packets purchased are yet to be received.
The pappadam to Onakit was supplied to Supplyco by Feffer Trading Company. Although the tender was for Kerala pappadam, it was initially alleged that the bread was bought from Tamil Nadu under that name. The Additional General Manager and Quality Assurance Division of the Quality Assurance Division directed the Depot Managers to immediately recall the pappadam in Onakit after the test results showed that the pappadam was not edible. In order to take action against the supplier, a report of purchase, sale, and transfer has to be submitted to the Head Office of Purchase. Although 81 lakh packets of pappadam are to be recovered, the vast majority of those who got the kit have already used it. Health experts say the overuse of sodium carbonate can affect eyesight.