The Use and Reuse of Cooking Oil -- Disadvantages, Regulations and all you need to know

The Use and Reuse of Cooking Oil -- Disadvantages, Regulations and all you need to know
Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay
Repeated using and frying of edible oil leads to the formation of TPC (Total Polar Compound) which renders it unfit for human consumption. Due to reheating, the nutritional and physicochemical properties of cooking oils are affected drastically. The health hazards triggered by the use of reheated cooking oil is raising major concerns in the medical sphere.

What happens when edible oil is repeatedly used and reheated many times?

Oil is a major ingredient in most Indian cooking traditions. A number of studies tell us that reheating cooking oil can release harmful toxins, increase the percentage of trans- fats in it, becomes rancid, gives rise to free radicals, and gives rise to some very harmful reactions. Reheating oil can take a toll on people’s health by resulting in several harmful effects. Not overheating the oil for a lot of time, not adding salt to foods before deep-frying, and minimizing food contamination by avoiding the accumulation of food particles in the oil are all suggested as some viable measures to reduce the harmful effects that result while reheating oil. However, strictly regulating the reuse of edible oil can help save the domestic as well as restaurant customers from the ill-effects of reheated cooking oil.

New legal regulations governing the use of cooking oil

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The government has introduced a new set of regulations governing the use of cooking oil which has set the maximum permissible limit of Total Polar Compound (TPC) in cooking oil at 25 percent. The Indian Biodiesel Association has been asked by the FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) to create a nationwide eco-system to collect used cooking oil to convert it into bio-diesel.

With effect from July 1, 2019, all the Food Business Operators (FBOs) in the country have been asked to strictly monitor the quality of oil used for frying in order to ascertain if it meets the approved regulations. The Food Authority has now created testing protocols for testing TPC.

The Triple E strategy

Talking of the implementation of the cooking oil standards announced by the government, Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, said it will require “Triple E strategy” and a coordinated effort. The three ‘E’s in the strategy stand for Education, Empowerment and Eco-system. These ideas can be expanded as educating the businesses and consumers on the health consequences of using spoiled cooking oil, and developing an eco-system to collect used cooking oil and producing bio-diesel from it.
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What the law wants to achieve?

Cooking oil is majorly consumed by restaurants and food products manufacturers. As per the existing practice noticed among these businesses, cooking oil is not discarded in an environmentally friendly way. In many cases, the used cooking oil is bought from these businesses by smaller restaurants, street vendors and dhabas.

Since the laws governing the use of edible oil has taken effect already, FSSAI has asked the State Food Safety Commissioners to provide education programs and carryout the surveillance and enforcement activities for the new set of regulations.

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In a typical year, Indian masses consume about 23-million tons of cooking oil. Hence there is a potential to recover about 3 million tons of edible oil for producing bio-diesel.
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