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No allopathic drug in Kerala’s Jackfuit365 flour, lab test confirms

Lab report on WhatsApp suggested the nutraceutical — food or part of food with medical benefits — that helps control diabetes had metformin. Nutraceuticals shouldn't contain allopathic drugs.

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New Delhi: Jackfruit365, a brand of jackfruit flour sold for having health benefits, has tested negative for an allopathic drug. The result of the test was shared with ThePrint by Krishna Kumar T.S., who works as an analyst at the government drug-testing laboratory in Thiruvananthapuram, where the test was conducted.

Earlier, a lab report circulating on WhatsApp seemed to indicate that the product contained metformin, a drug used to lower blood sugar levels.

Marketed by Kerala-based Jackfruit 365, the jackfruit flour is sold as a nutraceutical for controlling diabetes. By definition, a nutraceutical — food or part of a food that provides medical or health benefits — should not contain any allopathic drug. The approval process for nutraceuticals is also less stringent than that for conventional drugs.

However, a lab report, commissioned by an unidentified individual, was doing the rounds of doctors’ groups on WhatsApp, which appeared to suggest a sample of this flour came back positive for metformin. The person who commissioned the test hasn’t been identified because the name was blacked out on the image of the report dated 11 October.

Krishna Kumar had earlier confirmed to ThePrint that the image of the report was not fake, and that the samples sent by the individual had indeed tested positive for metformin.

However, he had said there was no way to ascertain how the sample was collected and whether it was adulterated before being sent to the lab, and thus the report itself does not have legal standing.

The lab then conducted a follow-up according to standard procedure, the results of which came out to be negative for metformin.

In a post on the social media portal LinkedIn last week, Jackfruit365 founder James Joseph defended the product, saying it only contains jackfruit flour.

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‘100% mature unripe green jackfruit’

“Jackfruit365 green jackfruit flour is a single ingredient as declared in the pack, made from 100% mature unripe green jackfruit, with no additives or flavours. And it helps control blood sugar, due to relative reduction in carbs, calories & increase in fiber, vs rice or wheat,” he wrote in the post.

“We reconfirm that our jackfruit flour only has jackfruit. Any other suggestion is incorrect & unscientific,” he added, not making any mention of the lab report, or why he was posting this message on LinkedIn.

Jackfruit365 is an initiative promising year-long access to jackfruit under God’s Own Food Solutions Pvt Ltd. Its flour has thousands of reviews on the e-commerce platform Amazon, suggesting a wide consumer base.

(Edited by Poulomi Banerjee)

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