Kashmir's multi-cuisine- WaswanThe health officer said the number of patients observing problems after eating Wazwan goes up during the wedding season; on in Kashmir valley these days. Red and yellow artificial additives are commonly used to turn dishes reddish for presentation in multi-course Wazwan. An average Kashmiri wedding consumes 500 to 800 kg of mutton, which goes into the making of around 13 Wazwan dishes. Officials figures suggest that the Valley consumes 51,000 tonnes of mutton worth Rs1,200 crore annually. “We are worried about the public health as natural colouring agents’ use is going down. We have decided to keep a constant check on Wazwan being prepared for public functions to start with. We have to control the use of artificial dye. Strict action will be taken against violators under the Food Safety Act,” said Dr Khan. Traditionally, Wazwan would use sun-dried red chillies and red cockscomb flower for colouring. Dr Khan warns that fresh studies on consumption of higher level of artificial colouring have shown disastrous impact on people. “It can cause changes in behaviour among children. Crude dye can even prove carcinogenic. Studies show that children who eat red dye are more likely to go out of control. It impacts reproductive system as well as thyroid glands,” said Dr Khan. Eight food colours permitted in India are Tartrazine, Sunset Yellow for yellow; Carmosine, Ponceau - 4R and Erithrosine for red; Brilliant Blue and Indigo Carmine for blue; and Fast Green for Green. The Prevention of Food Adulteration Act allows maximum limit 100 mg per kg of food or one gm in 10 kg.