It will also ensure that used cooking oil does not land in dhabas and small eateries
The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) initiative to collect and convert used cooking oil into biodiesel under ‘Repurpose Used Cooking Oil’ (RUCO) was launched in Tiruchi district on Thursday.
Used cooking oil from restaurants, college hostels and cottage industries will be collected under the initiative by a FSSAI authorised aggregator for a stipulated price and sent for conversion as bio-diesel.
The FSSAI has laid down regulations to monitor the usage of used cooking oil. Several properties of oil are altered and Total Polar Compounds (TPC) are formed on repeated frying. The toxicity of these compounds is associated with several diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s and liver diseases. Hence, it was essential to monitor the quality of vegetable oils during frying, officials of the Food Safety and Drug Administration said.
In order to safeguard consumer health, FSSAI has fixed a limit for Total Polar Compounds at 25%, beyond which the vegetable oil should not be used. All Food Business Operators were required to monitor the quality of oil during frying by complying with the said regulations.
The RUCO initiative is also intended to ensure proper disposal of used cooking oil, which very often is discarded in an environmentally hazardous manner or finds its way to small eateries, dhabas and street-vendors.
Collector S. Sivarasu launched the initiative in the city on Thursday. According M. Ramesh Babu, Designated Officer for Food Safety and Drug Administration, Tiruchi, about 55 restaurants have come forward to hand over the used cooking oil to aggregators, who provide collection cans to them. “To start with, we expect about 10,000 litres to be collected every day on an average,” Dr. Ramesh Babu told The Hindu.
The Department of Food Safety and Drug Administration has distributed DART (Detection of Adulteration by Rapid Test Kit) to all primary health centres in the district for easy detection of adulteration in various food products such as jaggery, tea and turmeric. The test kits would be kept at the PHCs for public use with the staff being sensitised on how to use them, Dr. Ramesh Babu said. The Collector handed over the kits to some of the PHC staff members on the occasion.
The Collector also handed over hygiene rating certificate issued by FSSAI to Shri Sangeethas Restaurant, Chennai Bypass Road, on the occasion. The restaurant has been given five star rating and is said to be first in the city to get the rating under a FSSAI initiative. Managements of other restaurants in the district are also being sensitised and asked to go for the rating, officials said.
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