During this last decade there has been a huge surge in the demand for bodybuilding supplements in the country. However, a study by Assocham and business management consultant RNCOS indicates that as much as 60-70 per cent of the dietary supplement being peddled across India is counterfeit.
Not only are the manufacturers of these fake supplements duping their customers, but using various unapproved and potentially harmful chemicals in their fake offerings and putting the youngsters of our nation in harm's way.
How to identify fake supplements?
* Check the hologram: One of the best ways to tell a fake product from the genuine one is to look for the brand's hologram. Because most of the fake supplements in India are made in extremely low-quality facilities, the technology to properly replicate the hologram doesn't exist.
* Check the barcode: Most smartphones today support apps that can read barcodes and QR codes. Just do a quick scan; the scan of an original brand should ideally lead you to its website.
* Check the packaging: This can be a bit tricky. Watch out for spelling mistakes, bizarre fonts, wrong logos and even wrong nutritional information.
* Check the seal: If the seal of the product looks weird or of bad quality, chances are that it has been tampered with.
* Dissolve a spoonful in water: Add a spoonful of the supplement to water at room temperature and stir for a few seconds. The original supplement will dissolve easily whereas the fake products usually leave behind clumps of the powder as residue in the glass.
* Look for FSSAI approval on the packaging: The Food Safety and Standards Association of India or FSSAI is the regulatory body responsible for health supplements.
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