Soy­abean Oils

Consumer Voice - - Contents -

Seven brands in the fray and they are all right

Soy­abean oil is one of the widely con­sumed cook­ing oils and its nu­tri­tional value is com­pa­ra­ble to those of other veg­etable oils like maize corn oil, ground­nut oil, sun­flower oil and saf­flower oil. It is an ex­cel­lent source of linoleic acid, which is an es­sen­tial fatty acid re­quired in the body. Of course, health claims by veg­etable oils are a dime a dozen and can leave the con­sumer con­fused about the best buy for them­selves. As it is, one may be scep­ti­cal about some of the hy­per­bolic claims made about health ben­e­fits. Adul­ter­ation of oil, hy­dro­gena­tion and pres­ence of ge­net­i­cally mod­i­fied (GM) va­ri­eties only com­pli­cate mat­ters. The more we read on the sub­ject, the more in­for­ma­tion – and cat­e­gories of cook­ing oil – we find our­selves hav­ing to deal with. Since each holds a dif­fer­ent set of pros and cons, it really is hard to pick one. Are all brands made equal – in other words, are they all as good as an­other and do they meet the ba­sic re­quire­ments? Do we know that the io­dine value in soy­abean oil is a mea­sure of the unsaturate­d fats therein? How many of us known that the oil must not have any traces of arge­mone oil? Or that the lower the acid value, the bet­ter the qual­ity? This re­port is a first-hand study of seven brands of soy­abean oils along th­ese and other rel­e­vant pa­ram­e­ters, and the good news is that in the over­all anal­y­sis they all ful­filled the min­i­mum re­quire­ments and are safe for consumptio­n.

The In­dian Stan­dard (IS 4276) pre­scribes five grades of soy­abean oil. Only re­fined grade is rec­om­mended for direct ed­i­ble pur­poses (raw soy­abean oil is not suit­able for direct hu­man consumptio­n for var­i­ous rea­sons.). For our tests, we pur­chased seven pop­u­lar brands of re­fined soy­abean oils from re­tail­ers in Delhi. Th­ese were in poly­packs of one-litre ca­pac­ity and sub­jected to com­par­a­tive test­ing at an NABL-ac­cred­ited lab­o­ra­tory. The study was con­fined to pa­ram­e­ters spec­i­fied by Food Safety and Stan­dards Author­ity of In­dia (FSSAI) as well as meth­ods of test spec­i­fied in In­dian Stan­dard.

All the tested brands were man­u­fac­tured in In­dia and the same has been men­tioned on their la­bel. Where the oil is im­ported, the coun­try of ori­gin should be spec­i­fied on the pack­ing, which must also con­tain the dec­la­ra­tion that the ‘im­ported oil does not con­tain traces of GM’.

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