Through a notification dated 4 September, 2019 the FSSAI has issued directions regarding operationalisation of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations 2019 related to the revision of the limits of the parameter refractive index in the standards for coconut oil.
The draft regulations are in the process of being notified but the process of notification, the consideration of comments received by the FSSAI and the finalisation of these regulations is likely to take some time. However, inorder to address the issue of the food business operators to comply with the present standards of coconut oil for the said parameter and to harmonise with the international standards – Codex, it has been decided to implement this parameter with immediate effect.
In the draft amendments of the Food Safety and Standards (food Products Standards and Food Additives) Amendment Regulations 2019, the refractive index parameters had been proposed to be amended which were as follows.
In the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011 under the regulation 2.2: FATS, OILS AND FAT EMULSIONS in the category 2.2.1 OILS for the standards of coconut oil the parameter Refractive Index has been amended from the following
Refractive Index at 40oC: 1.4481-1.4491
Refractive Index at 40oC: 1.4480-1.4500
FBOs who manufacture coconut oil will have to comply with these amended parameters with immediate effect.
The refractive index which is also known as the butyro value of animal and vegetable fats and oils. It can be measured easily and is a quality parameter for oils and fats. Refractive index can also help to differentiate between the various oils and also to differentiate between different fats like butter and margarine. The refractive measure provides insights about the quality of the oil as any change in the composition will affect the refractive index.