The Solvent Extractors’ Association (SEA) of India has issued an advisory to its members urging them not to be a part of the supply chain of spurious oils.

In an advisory to its members, Atul Chaturvedi, President of the association, said some companies may be involved in manufacturing spurious edible oils by mixing glycerine with fatty acids by reverse process to produce crude oil.

Giving examples, the advisory said some manufacturers mix PFAD (palm fatty acid distillate) and glycerine, or rice fatty and glycerine to produce crude oil. They sell the same to the refiner or mix it with regular crude edible oils to make undue profits.

Oils obtained by this process is not vegetable oil but synthetic one that is diglyceride in nature, he said, adding such material is injurious to health.

“We are given to understand this nefarious activity is spreading fast and is a cause of concern to all of us working in the edible oil sector. Further, such spurious oils in the market have the potential of driving honest manufacturers out of business as well as depriving the government of legitimate revenue,” he said.

Urging vigilance

Requesting the association members to be vigilant and not to be a part of supply chain of such spurious oils, he asked them to have re-look at quality control measures for all raw materials to avoid falling prey to such activities when buying crude oil for processing or refined oil for packing.

He said FSSAI (Food Safety and Standards Authority of India) is aware of this and the officials may be increasing monitoring of regulatory compliance by food business operators to safeguard the health of the consumer. It may take stern action against such companies/organisations engaged in the production of synthetic oils, including cancellation of their FSSAI licence, he said in the advisory.

“We are sure none of our members would be involved in such activities which brings a bad name to our sector,” he added.