An initiative to collect and convert used cooking oil into biodiesel under ‘Repurpose Used Cooking Oil’ (RUCO) initiative of the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India’s (FSSAI) was launched in Perambalur district on Friday.
Under the initiative, used cooking oil from hotels, colleges (hostels) and cottage industries in the district would be collected by a FSSAI authorised aggregator and sent for conversion into bio-diesel.
FSSAI has laid down regulations to monitor the usage of used cooking oil. Several properties of oil are altered, 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 percent 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 used cooking oil was also not properly disposed – the oil was discarded in an environmentally hazardous manner or at times even finds its way to smaller restaurants, dhaabas and street-vendors, it was pointed out. To overcome this problem, FSSAI had launched the RUCO initiative for collection and conversion of used cooking oil into bio diesel.
On Friday, Collector P. Sri Venkada Priya launched the project in Perambalur under which used cooking oil from about 50 hotels and colleges in the district would be collected and sent for conversion by a FSSAI authorised aggregator, KB Energy, and sent to a manufacturer in Benguluru . The aggregator will pay a minimum of ₹25 a litre to the suppliers. Mr. Priya appealed to all hotels and establishments to extend their full cooperation to the project.
The aggregator was authorised to collect the oil from Perambalur, Pudukottai, Tiruchi and Dindigul districts. It has a storage point in Tiruchi from where the used cooking oil will be sent for conversion to a manufacturer with whom the aggregator has a tie-up.
B. Kishore, Proprietor, KB Energy, told The Hindu, his company is expecting to procure more than two tonnes of used cooking oil a month from each of the four district. The agency has already been collecting the oil in Pudukottai district and from some local sources in Tiruchi district. It would soon begin the collection in Dindigul district, he added.
M. Kavikumar, Designated Officer for Food Safety and Drug Administration, Perambalur, and other officials were present on the occasion.
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