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2.42% of 4,461 Edible Oils Samples Found To Be Of Sub-Standard Quality, Says FSSAI

About 2.42 per cent of the 4,461 samples of different edible oils from 587 districts and four metros are found to be non-compliant with safety parameters, food safety regulator FSSAI said on Wednesday.

Ayushi Raina
2.42% of 4,461 Edible Oils Samples Found To Be Of Sub-Standard Quality
2.42% of 4,461 Edible Oils Samples Found To Be Of Sub-Standard Quality

The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) said states have been asked to step up enforcement efforts to prevent oil adulteration after releasing the findings of a nationwide survey conducted during 25th – 27th August, 2020.

It was also requested that the ministries of agriculture and food processing industries integrate their efforts to eliminate the problem of contaminants through the implementation of appropriate agricultural practices and/or safe handling or processing techniques.

"The results of this survey revealed that 2.42 percent (108) of the 4,461 picked samples were non-compliant owing to safety parameters, which included the presence of Aflatoxins, pesticide residues, and heavy metals at levels greater than those recommended by FSSR," the regulator said in a statement.

In terms of quality, FSSAI reported that approximately 24.2 percent (1,080) of samples were non-compliant due to the presence of hydrocyanic acid and failure to meet the prescribed limits of Refractive Index, BR reading, fatty acid profile, and iodine value, among others, across states and Union territories.

"Non-compliance in quality parameters implies suspected adulteration or combining with other oils or materials," the report stated.

Another non-compliance observed in relation to quality was the failure to meet the shelf-life standards and prescribed standards of additives, it added.

According to the survey findings, instances of oil samples failing in one or more categories were also observed across states/UTs in different oil varieties.

In the category of label misbranding, the FSSAI reported that 572 (12.8%) samples were non-compliant on fortificants claims like the presence of Vitamin A and Vitamin D.

Some oil types picked up from the market had label misinformation on their labels which were non-compliant with the FSSAI labeling requirements.

On September 9, 2021, a meeting with stakeholders was scheduled to convey the key findings of the 'oil survey report' and to educate different stakeholders about the safety and quality concerns associated with various oils.

During the stakeholders' meet, the way forward for the state food departments, oil processing firms and concerned ministries and departments was also reviewed.

Food safety officials from several states selected 4,461 oil samples from 587 districts and four metros, which were grouped into 15 distinct oil types.

These oils included 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, maize oil, flaxseed oil, and any other oils and any other non-listed oils.

These samples were forwarded to several FSSAI-notified labs where they were evaluated for safety, quality, and misbranding parameters in accordance with the existing Food Safety and Standards Regulations (FSSR), it added.

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