Mus­tard Oils

Twelve kachchi ghani brands – some pass muster, some don’t

Consumer Voice - - Front Page - A Con­sumer Voice Re­port

Some pass muster, some don't 12 brands tested

While call­ing it In­dia’s favourite oil will be stretch­ing things, the mus­tard oil is by all means a near sta­ple in house­holds across the coun­try’s east­ern and north­ern parts. Its sharp taste and pun­gent flavour make it a favourite cook­ing oil on the one hand, and its vi­ta­min-laden, anti-bac­te­rial and anti-ox­i­dant prop­er­ties have given it the sta­tus of a cure-all medicine on the other hand. The fact that it is rich in mo­noun­sat­u­rated and polyun­sat­u­rated fats makes it one of the oils to opt for, for the choles­terol-con­scious. Last and not the least is its pop­u­lar­ity as mas­sage oil, es­pe­cially dur­ing the win­ters. Avail­abil­ity is not at all a prob­lem. In fact, with a sur­feit of brands of mus­tard oil in the mar­ket­place, con­sumers may of­ten be faced with deep con­fu­sion about choos­ing one over the other. Af­ter all, they all do look sim­i­lar. Yet, are they all as good as an­other and do they meet the ba­sic re­quire­ments? Do they all ful­fil the min­i­mum re­quire­ments and are they all safe for consumptio­n? Do we know that the io­dine value in mus­tard oil is a mea­sure of the unsaturate­d fats therein? What is nat­u­ral es­sen­tial oil? How many of us know that the oil must not have any traces of arge­mone oil? This re­port is a first­hand study of 12 brands of kachchi ghani mus­tard oils along th­ese and other rel­e­vant pa­ram­e­ters.

For our tests, we pur­chased 12 pop­u­lar brands of kachchi ghani mus­tard oil from re­tail­ers in Delhi/NCR. Th­ese were in pet bot­tles of one-litre ca­pac­ity each and sub­jected to com­par­a­tive test­ing at an NABL-ac­cred­ited lab­o­ra­tory. The study was con­fined to key pa­ram­e­ters spec­i­fied by Food Safety and Stan­dards Author­ity of In­dia (FSSAI) as well as meth­ods of test spec­i­fied in In­dian Stan­dard (IS: 546: 1975).

Based on the eval­u­a­tion of the test re­sults, it may be con­cluded that the tested brands pro­vide a safe

cook­ing medium. At the same time, it may be noted that three brands – Ma­hakosh, Pang­hat and Su­per Kwal­ity – did not meet the re­quire­ments of nat­u­ral es­sen­tial oil. Babaji did not meet the re­quire­ment of re­frac­tive in­dex.

Kachchi ghani refers to ‘cold press’ ex­trac­tion process of mus­tard oil. Mus­tard seeds are crushed at low tem­per­a­ture so that nat­u­ral prop­er­ties, an­tiox­i­dants and es­sen­tial oils are re­tained in the oil. The es­sen­tial oils con­tent of kachchi ghani mus­tard oil also acts as a preser­va­tive and ex­hibits anti-bac­te­rial and anti-car­cino­genic ac­tiv­ity.

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