As much as 85 per cent of the edible oil sold in loose across the country is adulterated, revealed a study conducted recently. Nutritionists warn that this would lead to the formation of toxins in the body called free radicals, which in turn are responsible for most of the lifestyle and chronic diseases.
Many among the public continue to buy edible oil in loose, despite the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) banning its sale, purchase and distribution of edible oils in that form.
“Not only do adulterated oils cause allergies and increase cholesterol levels, they are also known to be responsible for diseases such as cancer, paralysis, liver damage and cardiac arrest. The FSSAI, under the Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales Regulations, 2011, had banned selling, buying and distribution of edible oil in the loose form,” said Dr Niti Desai, a dietician and nutritionist.
According to the study conducted by the organisation Consumer Voice, adulteration was found in eight major varieties. The agency highlighted that in the samples tested, coconut oil was the most adulterated with 85 per cent adulteration.
For the study, 1,015 loose edible oil samples were collected from 15 states, including Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Maharashtra. The oils were tested for quality and safety parameters, according to the standards established by FSSAI.
Experts warned that with the menace of adulteration spreading fast posing threats to the health and well-being of the citizens, it was important for the authorities to take stricter action to stop the sale of loose edible oil. A city-based nutritionist added that it was important that the public remained vigilant about the quality of food and food materials they consumed.