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OILS AND FATS

FSSAI issues notice calling for removing Boudouin test needed for veg oil
Monday, 24 July, 2017, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Shraddha Joshi, Mumbai
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has issued a notice calling for suggestions, views and comments from stakeholders on the draft notification related to the removal of the Boudouin test required for blended edible vegetable oil and to revise the special provisions relating to sale of vanaspati under the Food Safety and Standards Regulations, 2011.
 
The draft noted, “The Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations, 2011, under Sale of certain admixtures prohibited, proposed to omit the following two provisions:

(i) Provided further that in respect of Regulation 2.1.1(5), a maximum tolerance of 15 red units in a one-cm cell of Lovibond scale is permitted when oil is tested for Boudouin test without dilution. That is to say, by shaking vigorously for two minutes, 5ml of the sample with 5ml of the hydrochloric acid (specific gravity 1.19) and 0.3ml of two per cent alcoholic solution of furfural and allowing to standing for five minutes.
 
(ii) Provided further that in respect of Regulation 2.1.1(5), a maximum tolerance limit of 10 red units in a one-cm cell on Lovibond scale is permitted when the oil is tested for Halphen’s test without dilution. That is to say, by shaking 5ml of the sample with 5ml of sulphur solution [one per cent (w/v) solution of sulphur in carbon-di-sulphide mixed with equal volume of amyl alcohol], in a closed system (test tube 250 x 25cm) heating in hot water (70°C- 80°C) for a few minutes with occasional shaking until the carbon-di-sulphide is boiled off and the sample stops foaming and then placing the tube on saturated brine bath, capable of being regulated at 110°C-115°C for 2.5 hours.
 
Explaining the test, Rashmi Kolhe, director, D’Armonia Consulting, Mumbai, said, “The Boudouin test is a simple qualitative test that detect presence of sesame oil in any fat or oil blend. Sesame oil is remarkably stable due to presence of natural antioxidants - sesamol and sesamoline. These antioxidants are specific to sesame oil only.”

“They prevent the oil from getting rancid, and hence, increase the stability and shelf life of oil.  In the Boudouin test, these components are responsible to give the pink colour to the final solution.  Adulteration of pure ghee with vanaspati fat is a common practise in our country. The Boudouin test is easy and very useful in detecting such cases of adulteration.”

However, according to some experts, the Boudouin test is a reliable method and very cost-effective.

Susmita Chandra, expert committee member, FSSAI, and associate researcher, Indian Institute of Chemical Biology, said, “The principle of the test is based on the reaction of aromatic groups that may be present in adulterants (like sesame) with furfurals in acid solution.”

“Some newer methods, like Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR), are in place to detect the adulterated components of oil. But they are rather costly and require skilled hands to verify this. But the Boudouin test is one of the reliable methods can be used for this purpose and easy to handle in the industrial lab,” she added.

Chandra added, “Sesame oil is a very common adulterant for edible oil in India, especially if the oil is purchased from the open market. For the oil industry and any other food industry that is using oil as their raw materials, the test is important because it can easily detect whether the adulterant is present or not.”

The detection of such adulteration is based on mandatory the addition of sesame oil as a marker by FSSAI standards in manufacturing of vegetable fats spreads and hydrogenated vegetable oils/vanaspati and bakery shortenings.

In a way, if the pink colour is obtained at end of the reaction, it indicates adulteration of ghee by vegetable fat or vanaspati.
 
On the requirement of such a draft, Kolhe said, “Now with the recent draft notification (*File No Stds/O&F/Notification (8)/FSSAI-2017)**, FSSAI  proposes to change the product standards for *vanaspati, interesterified vegetable oil/fat, bakery shortening, bakery and industrial margarine, table margarine and fat spreads, where the mandatory addition of sesame oil is totally exempted. Hence, the Boudouin test stands irrelevant.

The draft said the above mentioned products shall be prepared from any of the edible vegetable oils whose standards are prescribed under Sub-regulation 2.2 of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, or any other edible vegetable oil with the prior approval of the food authority.”

Kolhe further added, “Adulteration in pure ghee is a major challenge
in our country. Price of ghee is more than three times of that of
vegetable oil and hence we need low cost detection kits to identify
and control such adulterations. Like Baudouin test, there are other
methods like Phytosterol acetate test that can be used to detect
presence of vegetable oils in milk fat based products. Other methods
like gas- liquid chromatography are little expensive.”

Also, according to the draft, under the prohibition and restriction on sale of certain products in the category, special provisions relating to sale of vegetable oil and fat should be substituted.

It stated, “Vanaspati, interesterified vegetable oil/fat, bakery shortening, bakery and industrial margarine, table margarine and fat spreads prepared from any of the edible vegetable oils should be prepared whose standards are prescribed under sub regulations of the Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, or any other edible vegetable oil with the prior approval of the food authority.”
 
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