The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Friday launched RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil), an initiative that will enable collection and conversion of used cooking oil to bio-diesel. The initiative has been launched nearly a month after the food safety regulator notified standards for used cooking oil.
FSSAI may also look at introducing regulations to ensure that companies that use large quantities of cooking oil hand it over to registered collecting agencies to convert it into biofuel.
Under this initiative, 64 companies at 101 locations have been identified to enable collection of used cooking oil. For instance: McDonald’s has already started converting used cooking oil to biodiesel from 100 outlets in Mumbai and Pune.
The regulator believes India has the potential to recover 220 crore litres of used cooking oil for the production of biodiesel by 2022 through a co-ordinated action. In a statement, Pawan Agarwal, CEO, FSSAI, said, “While biodiesel produced from used cooking oil is currently very small, but a robust ecosystem for conversion and collection is rapidly growing in India and will soon reach a sizable scale.”
“FSSAI wants businesses using more than 100 litres of oil for frying, to maintain a stock register and ensure that UCO is handed over to only registered collecting agencies. There is a possibility that a regulation will be developed on these lines,” he added.
According to FSSAI regulations, the maximum permissible limits for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) have been set at 25 per cent, beyond which the cooking oil is unsafe for consumption.
FSSAI is also working in partnership with Biodiesel Association of India and the food industry to ensure effective compliance of used cooking oil regulations, the statement added. It is also going to publish guidance documents, tips for consumers and posters in this regard. It is also conducting several awareness campaigns through its e-channels.
“FSSAI has additionally launched a micro-site to monitor the progress of the collection and conversion of used cooking oil into biodiesel,” the statement added.