Kochi: District Food Safety authorities will issue an order on Monday banning the manufacturing, procurement, and sale of four brands of coconut oil in Ernakulam as they have been found to be adulterated. The steep price hike has triggered rampant sale of adulterated coconut oil in the state, according to Food Safety officials.
“Laboratory tests found that there was a high level of adulteration in these brands. During the lab test it was found that the iodine value of these brands of coconut oil is 20 to 23 per cent while the normal iodine value of pure coconut oil is 7 to 10 per cent. These brands have more than 50 per cent of other oils like palm kernel oil or refined palm oil,” said K.V Shibu, assistant Food Safety commissioner, Ernakulam.
All these brands brought from Tamil Nadu are packed and distributed in the state. Though the impure coconut oil brands are available in markets in other parts of the state, the Ernakulam district food safety authorities can ban the products sold within their jurisdiction.
District Food Safety authorities can ban the procurement and sale of adulterated coconut oil invoking Section 36(3) (b) of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006. As per the rules, the designated officer can prohibit the sale of any food material which is in contravention of the Act.
“While the pure coconut oil is priced at Rs 240 in the retail market, the adulterated oil is being sold at Rs 100 to Rs 125,” added the Food Safety official.
Impure coconut oil is mostly being sold in rural areas and coastal villages where the customers are not very aware of the quality as even the adulterated oil is sold in packets.