FSSAI, the apex body on food safety in India has issued fresh regulations on Olive Oil for controlling, impurities, adultaration and other important issues to maintain the safety & security of the consumers. Olive oil is becoming popular due to its various healthy benefits and there was a need to keep a strict check on this industry.
The food safety & standards authority of India has included everyone involved in the business of olive oil like importers, distributers, traders, Packers & Labelers etc in the regulatory guidelines. The new guidelines have further clarified the concerns related to the quality, composition, description, additives, contaminants and other related issues for this product.
The maximum free acidity limit is set at 1g per 100g for Olive oil where for the oil as the composition of the refined Olive oil (done from refining methods), the free acidity has been specified as not more than 0.3g per 100g. The regulation has defined the acidity levels for Virgin oil and Extra Virgin oil as not more than 2g per 100g & 0.8g per 100g respectively. To check and control the impacts of heavy metals like arsenic and lead, the permissible level is set at 0.1mg/kg. The free acidity level for pomace oil is set at 1g per 100g whereas for refined olive pomace oil is set at 0.3g per 100g.
The regulation in order to measure and control the quality, has clearly defined the parameters like – Moisture and volatile matter, Insoluble impurities, Tracing metals (Iron & Copper), Refractive index at 20 degree C, Saponification value, Iodine value, Iodine value, for various grades of olive oil like Virgin olive oil, extra-virgin olive oil and ordinary virgin olive oil, Refined olive oil, Olive oil, Refined pomace olive oil, Pomace olive oil.
The industry has positively accepted the new guidelines as they believe that it would help to streamline the process for maintaining industry standards as well as to serve the community well. Approx. 12000 tonne olive oil imports were done in the last fiscal year and the total demand has been increased by 1.5 times recently. All imported oil has to be tested from laboratories for QC & other analysis before it is repackaged to be able to be sold in the market.