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Vark, also called varak (also silver leaf, German paper), is any leaf composed of pure metals, typically silver but sometimes gold, used on South Asian sweets.
The silver is edible, though flavorless. Varak is made by pounding silver into sheets, a few micrometres(µm) thick, typically 0.2 µm-0.8 µm. The sheets are typically backed with paper for support; this paper is peeled away before use. It is fragile and breaks into smaller pieces if handled with direct skin contact.
It is also commonly used in India as coating on dry fruits (such as almonds, cashews, and dates), and in sugar balls, betel nuts, cardamom and other spices. Cardamom-coated sweets are very commonly present in the market.
Estimated consumption of Vark is 275 tons (according to BWC-Beauty without cruelty data) annually.Hindu and Jain religions are mostly vegetarian, thus the Indian market for Vark has mostly converted to using the vegetarian process in the making of the silver leaves