FSSAI has revised the existing standards for oils and fats and added new standards harmonised with those of Codex. In this regard, the apex regulator has issued a draft notification detailing the new standards and regulations for the oils and fats category.

The country’s apex food regulator has asked the stakeholders for suggestions and comments within 30 days from the date of issue (March 15, 2018). The draft standards shall be reviewed based on the comments received from stakeholders and revised if required.

New standards have been issued for palm stearin, palm kernel olein, palm kernel stearin, superolien, avocado oil and inclusion peroxide value in the standards of all vegetable oils. The existing standards of kachi ghani mustard oil and palm oil (with regard to melting point) and vanaspati have also been revised.

Giving a view on these standards and regulations, Mahua Ghosh, professor, department of chemical technology, University of Calcutta (who holds a specialisation in oil technology, said, “It is a wise move on the part of FSSAI. These were the needs of the oil industry. By these regulations, we could have a proper gradation of the oils, and the consumer will have a clear idea about what he/she is buying. The peroxide value is a vital parameter to assess the quality of edible oil, and so should be included in the safety parameter.”

She added, “The fatty acid composition is an important and reliable index to ascertain the authenticity of the oil. Nowadays, various fractions of palm oil are widely used in the different bakery, confectionery and chocolate products and are getting imported too. So their specification is also required.”

The draft regulations revised the standards of rapeseed oil (toria oil) or mustard oil (sarson ka tel). According to the draft, this oil should be extracted from clean and sound mustard seeds belonging to the compestris, junceaor napus varieties of Brassica.

Avocado  oil
Avocado oil means the oil obtained from the avocado fruit (Persea Americana). According to the new standard, various parameters has been set. The limit for refractive index is set at 40°C (1.4650 -1.4740), whereas saponification value should be between 177 and 198 and iodine value between  63 and 95. Unsaponifiable matter should not be more than 12 per cent by weight, acid value not more than two and peroxide value not more than 15 milliequivalent of oxygen per kg fat.

Palm stearin and palm kernel stearin
Palm stearin means the high-melting fraction derived from the fractionation of palm oil, while palm kernel stearin means the solid fraction derived from fractionation of palm kernel oil.

Palm kernel olein
Palm kernel olein has been described as the liquid fraction derived from fractionation of palm kernel oil. The refractive index has been set at 40°C (1.451-1.465), Saponification value between 231 and 244, iodine value should be between 20 and 28 and unsaponifiable matter not more than 1.5 per cent.

Palm superolein
Palm superolein means a liquid fraction derived from palm oil produced through a specially-controlled crystallization process to achieve an iodine value of 60 or higher. Refractive index parameter will be at 40°C (1.463-1.465), saponification value should be set between 180 and 205, iodine value not less than 60, unsaponifiable matter not more than 1.3 per cent and slip point should not more than 19.5°C. The limit set for acid value will not be more than 0.5 and the peroxide value would not be more than 10 milliequivalents of active oxygen per kg of oil.

The test for Argemone oil shall be negative for all the categories mentioned above.

The draft also mentioned the variants of peroxide value for various categories of oils and fats.