Thursday, 20 January 2022

2.42% of 4,461 edible oils samples found to be of sub-standard quality: FSSAI

2.42% of 4,461 edible oils samples found to be of sub-standard quality: FSSAI

India food regulator, FSSAI or Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, has said 2.42% of the 4,461 cooking oil tests it tested were non-compliant on account of safety standards. In comparison, 24.2% of samples failed to clear quality standards, indicating the possible mixture of cooking oils in the market.

FSSAI conducted a countrywide survey from 25-27 August 2020 on edible oils to check oil safety, quality and misbranding in cooking oils sold in the market. The purpose of the examination was to evaluate the "ground realities" concerning oil quality, safety, and misbranding, and the food safety regulator said in the study's findings shared with the media on Wednesday.

Following the survey, the regulator has directed union territories and states to intensify enforcement drives to prevent adulteration in edible oils.

Of 4,461 samples tested, including branded and loose oils, 2.42% samples were irregular on account of safety standards, which included the presence of pesticide residues, aflatoxins, and heavy metals at levels higher than those prescribed by (FSSR). 24.2% or 1,080 samples were irregular on various quality metrics for the time being. Examples were reported to have the presence of hydrocyanic acid, failed to meet the permitted limits of refractive index, Butyro Refractometer reading that measures the purity of foods like fats and oils, iodine value, fatty acid profile, etc.

2.42 of 4461 edible oils samples found to be of sub standard quality FSSAI 1pixabay image

Read More: Major edible oil companies cut MRP by 10-15% to give relief to consumers, said SEA

It said.

"Infringement in quality parameters indicate probable adulteration or blending with other materials or oils. Other infringement observed in relation to quality were failed to meet the shelf-life standards like acid value, presence of peroxide value, rancidity, moisture content, etc. and prescribed standards of additives and Tertiary butylhydroquinone as well as dimethylpolysiloxane,"

Label misbranding category, 572 or 12.8% samples were found to be non-compliant on fortification claims like Vitamin A and Vitamin D. Some oil samples were non-compliant with FSSAI labeling requirements.

The cooking oil samples were grouped into 15 different oil types, including mustard oil, coconut oil, palm oil, blended oil, cottonseed oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, groundnut oil, canola oil, rice bran oil, sesame oil, corn oil, flaxseed oil, and any other non-listed oils. These were collected from 587 districts and four metros by food safety officers of various states and union territories. These samples were then sent to multiple FSSAI notified labs, tested for safety, quality, and misbranding parameters, in compliance with the existing FSSR.

FSSAI said that a meeting with stakeholders was organized on 9 September 2021 to discuss the survey's key findings. All states and union territories are being asked to intensify the enforcement drives to prevent oil adulteration.

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