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Vark, also called varak (also silver leaf), is super fine filigree foil sheet of pure metals, typically silver but sometimes gold, used to decorate South Asian sweets and food, but also placed on mounds of saffroned rice served on platters, to make those look more appetising. The silver and gold are edible, though flavorless. Varak is made by pounding silver into sheets a few micrometres (μm) thick, typically 0.2 μm-0.8 μm. The silver sheets are typically packed between layers of paper for support; this paper is peeled away before use. It is fragile and breaks into smaller pieces if handled with direct skin contact. Leaf that is 0.2 μm thick tends to adhere to skin if handled directly. Vark sheets are laid or rolled over some South Asian sweets, confectionery, dry fruits and spices. For safety and ethical reasons, the government of India has issued food safety and product standards guidelines for manufacturers of silver foil.


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