The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) launched a nationwide campaign from 1 to 14 August to check the adulteration of edible oil.
The campaign aimed at monitoring hydrogenated oils containing fatty acids and curtailing the sale of loose edible oil and multi-source edible oils sold without proper labeling.
More than 1,195 samples of packaged edible oil, vanaspati, and multi-source edible oil were collected till 4 August from 27 states and Union territories. The campaign seized two thousand six hundred and sixty-two litres of loose edible oil.
The campaign was launched to crack down on food businesses selling adulterated and loose edible oil. The collected samples are sent to the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories for further tests.
The FSSAI and state food and drug administrations monitor the campaign daily and ensure that all collected samples are sent to the respective authorities. Food operators will face punitive action for any sample that fails to qualify the norms.
This campaign is being well-publicized in newspapers and social media to increase the public’s confidence and send a stern message to those who adulterate food.
Adulteration of food
Food from animal or plant sources contains one or more nutrients such as fats, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. Adulterated food loses its nutritional value due to inferior quality or removal of essential ingredients and can affect health badly.
The food authority defines adulteration as an addition or subtraction of anything that changes the original quality of the food. Any harmful substance has to be removed.
Vegetables and fruits are the most commonly contaminated food products and can contain wax, oxytocin, and calcium carbide. Milk is adulterated with water and detergent, while khoya with mixed skimmed milk or refined oil.
The common causes of adulteration are an imbalance between demand and supply, the perishable nature of a few products, and food units that do not have a strict regulatory system.
The regulatory systems of FSSAI enable the customer to take legal action if the food does not meet quality standards.