‘Refined oils are totally safe for cooking’

In the wake of misleading messages doing rounds on social media platforms about refined vegetable oils, Scientific Panel on Oils and Fats at Foods Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has said that refined oils are totally safe to use as cooking oil.

Chairperson of the Scientific Panel on Oils and Fats (FSSAI) R.B.N. Prasad said the FSSAI recognised several oils for cooking purpose and a majority of these oils required refining. Because the oil obtained either from expellers or solvent extraction plant would contain some impurities which adversely affect the safety, flavour, odour and appearance of oil, they are required to be removed for making the oil edible and for ensuring long shelf life.

He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Edible Oils – Myths and Facts’ organised by Indian Consumer Federation attended by scientists, nutritionists and the industry body Solvent Extractors Association and consumers here on Tuesday.

Refining advised

Some of the oils like groundnut oil, sesame, coconut oil, mustard oil and safflower oil, which were extracted using expelling technique could be consumed without refining. However in some cases these oils were also affected by ‘aflatoxin’ during harvesting. Thus it was advisable to refine these oils before consumption.

Several oils like sunflower, palm, soyabean, cottonseed and rice bran, among others, were required to be sold only as refined oils as these oils were produced by solvent extraction process and they may contain solvent residues. The refining process was done as per the guidelines issued by FSSAI and most of the nutritional components were retained during refining, he said.

Dietary requirement

Former director of National Institute of Nutrition Kalpagam Polasa said as per ICMR dietary guidelines the total dietary fat intake was 30% of total energy intake per day. This 30% of the total daily energy intake should come from dietary sources of oils and fats. If an individual consumed 2,000 Kcal of energy per day, then 30% or 600 Kcal (equal to 65 grams) should come from total fat (visible plus invisible intake). So 30 g of visible oils was necessary to be consumed per day.

On which cooking oil is good, she said each cooking oil had its own merits and demerits. If some oils like coconut oil have saturated fatty acids more, that could be easily metabolised, others have mono unsaturated fatty acids that help lowering LDL cholesterol. Thus a combination of oils could be selected and consumed to get required proportion of all kinds of fatty acids. However, it was safe to buy packed edible oils as loose oils could be adulterated.

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Printable version | Dec 3, 2020 3:31:38 PM |

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