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OILS AND FATS

FDCA Gujarat to launch RMBS & run device for TPC limits in frying oils
Thursday, 21 June, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Shraddha Joshi, Mumbai
The Food and Drug Control Administration (FDCA) Gujarat will soon launch a Rapid Microbiology System (RMBS), which will help the food analyst in the laboratory to do multiple testing at a time of food and pharmaceutical samples in a much shorter time. In addition to this, a Germany-based company Test-O, as a part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity, has provided FDCA Gujarat with a device to test the total polar compound (TPC) limits in frying oils.

RMBS
Initiated by the government of the western state, Biomere, a French company, was selected by global tendering and participation to provide the RMBS system.

Commenting on the same, H G Koshia, commissioner, FDCA, informed, “This is the first time in the Asia Pacific region wherein such a system will be installed in a district government laboratory. The system has already been installed for the food category, and the executives from the company are providing hands-on training to the food analyst on how to use the system.”

He added, “By the end of June, we will be in a position to put the system in full function. However, the installation for the pharma system is still on. With it in place, we will be able to check contamination and pathogens present in food, which are harmful for human health within a few hours. Earlier, it used to take about 14 days.”

TPC drive
The TPC device was in line with the latest amendment in the rule made by the country’s apex food regulator setting the TPC limit to 25 per cent in frying oil, which will be implemented from July 1, 2018.

Koshia said, “By just dipping the device in the frying oil, the sensor will provide the TPC level in 10 seconds.”

“We had conducted a sample drive with the device in Surat, Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar. It was found that 40 per cent of the survey sample didn’t meet the standards. The street vendors keep repeatedly using same oil for long period sometimes for whole week,” he added.

“So from July, we will start our drive to check the TPC level in frying oil across the state. Immediate and strict action will be taken against any food vendor owner found not complying with the standards, and the seized oil will be disposed of,” he added.

Koshia stated, “The cost of the device is about Rs 40,000, but if ordered in bulk, it will cost about Rs 30,000. We have asked the state government to provide us with the funds to buy about 200 more such devices to conduct the checks. The device is easy to handle and fits in a kit bags. The testing will be carried out throw mobile testing vans as well.”
 
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