THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: As part of its effort to prevent reuse and ensure scientific disposal of cooking oil by food business operators (FBOs), Kerala Commissionerate of Food safety (KCFS) has launched Ruco or repurpose used cooking oil.
The initiative mandates the FBOs to hand over the oil to agencies accredited by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) for biodiesel production.
The plan is to ensure a tie-up with FBOs and accredited agencies under Biodiesel Engine Association for collection and disposal of used fryer oil.
The Commissionerate has found severe malpractices involved in the usage of cooking oil by FBOs, which could pose a serious health threat to consumers. Its toxicity is associated with several ailments such as hypertension, atherosclerosis and liver diseases.
A top official of the Commissionerate told DC that a survey to find out disposal method adopted by FBOs for used cooking oil is ongoing at all districts. The food safety authorities have identified around 24 FBOs in Thiruvananthapuram and Alappuzha who uses above 50 litres of cooking oil per day.
“As per the information we got, there are agencies collecting cooking oil, but we are not sure how they are disposing of it. Once the survey is finished, we will be convening a meeting with all the agencies involved in this.
Only accredited agencies would be allowed to collect fryer oil. Reuse of cooking oil is pervasive in the state,” said an official.
FSSAI standards allow the reuse of cooking oil until it reaches a maximum Total Polar Compound (TPC), considered as an accurate indicator of the quality of frying oil, the limit of 25 per cent.
Recently, FSSAI had provided digital cooking oil tester to the Commissionerate to check their quality at eateries and bakeries.
According to officials, discarded oil dumped into water bodies and open spaces could degrade the environment, and hence scientific disposal should be ensured....