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How counterfeit cooking oils can harm your health and tips to identify fakes


The Food Safety Authority of recently shared details of an operation in Rajasthan where 18,000 litres of counterfeit edible oil were confiscated by local authorities. The fake products were apparently being produced through the unauthorized use of popular brand logos and packaging, in addition to questionable blending and processing methods.

Experts warn that consuming adulterated oils can negatively impact well-being. Chemical analysis is often used to dilute premium oils with cheaper alternatives like palm or soybean, introducing trans fats and removing nutrients. Toxic contaminants or rancid oils reprocessed to disguise poor quality may also pose dangers like liver and heart issues if regularly used in cooking.

On a broader scale, counterfeiting undermines trust in established brands and distorts market dynamics. It complicates consumer choice while overburdening regulatory agencies and healthcare systems. Long-term dependence on fake oils has been linked to a higher risk of chronic ailments.

Differentiating authentic products requires diligence. Beyond price anomalies, signs like unusual colouring, taste or labeling should raise suspicion. Chemical profiling through independent laboratories can check for adulteration signatures unique to each variety. Traceability data via QR codes and certification logos from reliable sources offer assurance as well. Together, these verification methods help safeguard wellness by avoiding illegitimate items masquerading as household essentials.

With awareness, cooks can make informed selections to not only satisfy taste but also prioritize their nutritional needs and overall protection. When in doubt, it pays to scrutinize cooking oil sources and ingredient listings for honesty and completeness.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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