How to identify them and the health risks of eating them

Tortillas are one of the most important foods in the Mexican diet, they accompany stews daily and are used in the preparation of many dishes. However, recently it has been revealed that there are “pirate tortillas” that endanger the health of the consumer because they are made with inappropriate and unhealthy ingredients, in an effort to reduce production costs. became.

According to the Tortilla Management Council, yes, it’s true. There have been reports of the production and sale of “pirate tortillas” made with inappropriate ingredients and having identifiable characteristics that prevent them from being consumed.

What are “pirate tortillas” made of?

Sergio Halkin, President of the Governing Council of Traditional Tortillas, ensures that producers of “pirate tortillas” can use the following ingredients:

  • delayed corn
  • cornmeal
  • Non-potable water
  • large amount of lime
  • May contain tortillas from the previous day (tronados)

One of the main reasons for “pirate tortillas” is the savings in production costs reflected in the low cost of the product. That is, if in the tortilla shop he sells a kilo at a low cost, quality and above all its consumption.

What are the original tortillas made of?

Original tortillas are typically made from just corn dough, a percentage of lime, and water.

Lime that is not lime used in construction must be so-called ‘quicklime’, which aids in the process of nystamalization.

This process alkalizes the water before cooking the corn, altering the chemical structure of the grain, making it softer, more easily digestible, and attaching other nutritional components. For example, calcium according to the Tortilla Foundation.

How to distinguish a “pirate tortilla”?

Here, we will introduce the characteristics of “pirate tortilla” and the original tortilla.

  • Bad odors that can be alleviated by excessive use of lime
  • Also, the ‘pirate tortilla’ fabric contains corn pigment, so you can see that the fabric, which should be ‘cream’ color, is white.
  • The original tortilla has a corn-like flavor and a yellowish pigment.
  • A well-made tortilla has a fluffy texture but does not crack or break.
  • The texture of the tortilla should be thick and consistent. Plus, it needs to expand, so it has to react well to overheating.
  • Original tortillas can be stored in a brown bag in the refrigerator. Store for 3 days or more
  • The “pirate tortilla” is priced lower than average.
  • When eaten, it should not taste earthy or limey, or be too salty.

Some pirate tortilla shops deceive consumers into selling this product with lower quality, resulting in less nutritional value.

The Risks of Eating a “Pirate Tortilla”

The main risks of eating “pirate tortillas” include stomach upset, which can lead to bacterial infection, depending on the conditions of preparation and use of the ingredients.

So the recommendations are:

  • Purchased at a tortilla factory where you can observe the manufacturing process (machinery, dough handling, hygiene)
  • Avoid making purchases at other types of establishments, such as small shops.
  • If the price is cheap, you should doubt the raw materials
  • If you detect a sale of “pirate tortillas”, you can report it to Profeco

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