1. Health & Lifestyle

Oil Adulteration: Tips to Detect Tri-Ortho-Cresyl-Phosphate Adulteration in Cooking Oil

Shivam Dwivedi
Shivam Dwivedi
Mustard Oil

Edible Oils are an integral part of cooking or frying items in the kitchen. We often hear in news about adulteration in oil with dangerous & poisonous elements that can cause many health problems and even threaten our lives. Realizing the seriousness of the issue in view, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has started an initiative called #DetectingFoodAdulterants

Major Health Risks:

  • Consumption of such adulterated oil leads to major health issues, especially among children. To avoid this, we should always check the included ingredients of the cooking oil and choose diligently while shopping.

  • Tri-ortho-cresyl-phosphate (TOCP) is an organo-phosphorus substance that has been responsible for several incidents of mass poisoning in the past.

  • As per the National Library of Medicine, consumption of TOCP shows symptoms in 10 to 20 days. At the primary stage, it causes pain & paresthesia in the lower extremities while at the later stage, it results in muscle weakness developing into a striking paralysis of the lower extremities.

Method to Check Adulteration in Edible Oil at Home:

In this twitter series, (#DetectingFoodAdulterants) every week they share a simple trick that you can try to check whether your food is adulterated or not. Below are some steps to check adulteration of poisonous tri-ortho-cresyl-phosphate in cooking oil at home:

  • Take 2 ml of oil in a container and then add a little amount of yellow butter to it.

  • If the color of the oil does not change, then it’s unadulterated and is pure & safe for consumption.

  • If the color changes to red, then the oil is adulterated and can be harmful for consumption.

About FSSAI: 

  • Food Safety and Standards Authority of India is an autonomous body under the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. FSSAI was set up in 2006 under Food Safety and Standards Act (FSSA).  

  • The main function of FSSAI is to promote and safeguard public health by regulating and supervising safety standards of food.  

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