UCO AS POOJA OILS
What’s in news?
The oil used for frying is converted as pooja oil by adding few scents and making other alterations.
- The FSSAI claims that India is one of the largest consumers of vegetable oil.
- Oil used for frying items ranging from banana chips to chilly chicken, and discarded by hotels are often used for varied purposes.
- One of such purposes are converting such used oil as pooja oils.
- The issue came to light when officials of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) stumbled upon several litres of used oil that were converted to pooja oil at Vellakovil in Tiruppur a few years ago.
- After a year the FSSAI introduced regulations to avoid reuse of cooking oil, the enforcement is yet to come into effect.
- FSSAI identified that, more over 150 food business operators in Coimbatore including bakers and hoteliers, who use more than 50 litres of oil a day for frying. The officials ask them comply with the regulations issued for used oil.
- Total Polar Compounds (TPC), a benchmark for measuring the degradation of the oil by heating the used cooked oil.
The regulations given by the FSSAI are;
- When the oil is been heated, if the TPC is above 25 %, it means that, the oil is not suitable for usage.
- Used oil should not be topped with fresh oil.
Problem associated with used oil:
- Leads to changes in physiochemical, nutritional and sensory properties of Human.
- Causes several diseases like hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and liver diseases.
- The foods prepared by the reheated oil will reduces the natural antioxidant level. this can compromise defence system in body.
- Long-term ingestion of food prepared using reused oil can cause hypertension, diabetes, acidity, stroke and cancer.
Initiatives taken against Used Cooking Oil:
World Bio-fuel Day:
- World Bio-fuel Day is observed every year on 10th of August to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative to conventional fossil fuels.
- Theme’19: Production of Bio-diesel from Used Cooking Oil (UCO).
Repurpose Used Cooking Oil:
- The project was launched by the FSSAI in August 2018, in association with the Biodiesel Association of India (BDAI).
- This is an ecosystem that enables the collection and conversion of UCO to biodiesel.
- India has the potential to convert almost 220 crore litre of Used Cooking Oil (UCO) to produce biodiesel by the year 2022.
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