FSSAI has notified the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) First Amendment Regulation, 2017 in the Official Gazette. The amendment is regarding the quality of vegetable oil for repeated frying. The FSSAI has included a total polar compound as a criterion for the quality of vegetable oil to be re-used.
It is well known that repeated use of the same oil for frying of foods leads to changes in physiochemical, nutritional and sensory properties of the edible oil. In view of this, it is important to monitor the quality of oil and to avoid the use of degraded oil for cooking purposes. At present, the regulations have only general provisions to avoid re-use of cooking oil i.e. ‘re-heating and reuse of oil should be avoided as far as possible. Avoid using leftover oil wherever possible’.
This amendment regulation has now prescribed the limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) to be a maximum of 25% and any vegetable oil that has Total Polar Compounds beyond this limit will be considered unsuitable for use in cooking foods.
These standards have been finalized after consideration of the comments received from stakeholders. The amendment regulation shall come into force on 1st July 2018.
- In the Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulations, 2011, in Schedule 4, under SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS FOR HIGH-RISK FOODS in the category Fried Foods, to the existing provisions FSSAI has now added the clause
“However, vegetable oil having developed Total Polar Compound more than 25% shall not be used.”
About Re-using oil
It is not always practical or economical to use a new batch of oil every time you fry foods. While there is no set rule about how many times you can use the same oil for frying it is understood that when the oil looks ‘bad’ it must not be used. However, with the total polar compounds being limited to 25 percent in re-used oil it is possible to understand that oils must be discarded which has polar compounds above this limit.
Most consumers understand that re-used oil that has turned thick because of repeated frying or changes color or has a strong smell of the fried foods, is not good and must not be re-used. What they do not know is that oil that has been used once must be strained and stored properly or it will lead to the bacterial contamination. Any oil that has a particle of food in it must not be re-used as bacteria feed on foods left in the oil.
Any old oil that has been used several times for frying can become rancid and it probably contains free radicals which are considered to be a health risk. Repeated use of such re-used oil can give rise to bad cholesterol and damage cells leading to cancer. Any oil that has become rancid and which foams on heating must not be used as it will affect the quality of the food cooked in it and cause health damage too.