In a major expose on rampant adulteration of packaged honey sold in the Indian market, 10 of the 13 brands flunked the stringent Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) test considered as the global gold standard for honey as part of an investigation conducted by a Delhi-based NGO Centre for Science and Environment (CSE).

  • 10 out of 13 honey brands --Dabur, Zandu, Baidyanath, Patanjali, Himalaya, and more -- flunk stringent NMR tests
  • Only three brands-Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature's Nectar -- passed the test
  • 17 of the 22 samples tested by CSE in German lab failed
  • 77% of the samples found to be adulterated with sugar syrup

The brands whose samples flunked the test include household names like Dabur, yoga guru Ramdev Baba's Patanjali, Zandu, Baidyanath, Apis Himalaya and Hitkari. Three brands -Saffola, Markfed Sohna and Nature's Nectar passed the test.  Honey companies are yet to respond to CSE's report but Dabur has countered saying its honey has passed NMR tests as well. A detailed response is awaited.

In all, 22 samples were tested of which only five passed. CSE said 77 percent of the samples were found to be adulterated with addition of sugar syrup. It added that most of it is being imported from China. Sugar syrup costs just Rs 60 per kg, about half the price of raw honey at Rs 120 per kg which makes adulteration lucrative.