Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Friday, Mar 31, 2006
Agri-Biz & Commodities
Oilseeds & Edible Oil
Industry & Economy - Economic Offences
`Adulteration rampant in edible oils'
How it is done
Stearin, fatty acids are not removed during refining.
To this, 15-20 pc cheaper edible oils are blended
Chennai , March 30
The Union Government should modernise and stringently regulate quality inspection of edible oils as adulteration is rampant, according to Mr K. Paramasivan, President, Tamil Nadu Oil and Seeds Association.
Addressing a press conference, he said the common practice was for refiners to incompletely refine imported palm oil, blend cheaper oils such as soya oil or rice bran oil and pass it off as refined palm oil. The association was not willing to point fingers at the wrongdoers but wants the practice stopped.
In the refining process to make palmolein from crude palm oil, fatty acids and stearin should be removed.
But this is not done and the stearin is left behind, to this over 15 - 20 per cent of cheaper edible oils are blended.
This was to mask the physical properties viscosity and melting point of this improperly refined oil, Mr Paramasivan said.
The traders gained at least 80 paise cost advantage on every kg and this translated to several thousand rupees on each lorry load, he said.
Such practices are widespread in the trade and present across the States. Most of the business was in the form of unbranded and unpackaged oils, so the refiners and traders were able to get away without committing to the contents, according to Mr Paramasivam.
Govt policy to blame
The Government policy was also to partly blame for the situation, he said.
Stearin was commonly used to make vanaspati hydrogenated vegetable oil but with free imports from SAARC countries, the trade had lost the opportunity to sell stearin.
The domestic vanaspati industry had been displaced by imports, he said.
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