How to easily detect malachite green in vegetables

Published September 13, 2021, 12:00 PM

by Patricia Bianca Taculao

One clear sign that we look for when buying vegetables is a vibrant green shade that lets us measure its freshness. But that telltale sign isn’t always what it seems. There are some instances when vendors add synthetic colors like malachite green and a wax coating to make vegetables appear shinier and greener. 

Photo by Peter F from Unsplash

Malachite green is commonly used as an antifungal agent in the fish farming industry and the textiles industry. If ingested, it can cause several health problems because of its toxicity. 

Luckily, checking for these substances in vegetables doesn’t require rocket science as it can be done in four easy steps. 

First, take a cotton ball dipped in liquid paraffin or mineral oil. Rub or dab it on the outer green surface of the vegetable. If the color on the cotton remains the same, the vegetable is unadulterated. But if it turns green, then malachite green has been used on it. 

Green leafy vegetables are a good source of nutrients and minerals that help improve bodily functions and overall health. But if laced with toxic substances for the sake of appearance, vegetables can do more harm than good. To avoid such effects, always double-check produce or buy from a trusted source. 

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