FSSAI launches RUCO initiative to collect, convert used cooking oil into biofuel
The consumption of Used Cooking Oil(UCO) poses adverse health effects. During frying, 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 disease, liver diseases. Therefore, it is essential to monitor the quality of vegetable oils during frying. In order to safeguard consumer health, FSSAI has fixed a limit for Total Polar Compounds at 25 percent beyond which the vegetable oil shall not be used. From 1st July, 2018 onwards, all Food Business Operators (FBOs) are required to monitor the quality of oil during frying by complying with the said regulations. Repurpose Used Cooking Oil (RUCO) is an ecosystem that will enable the collection and conversion of UCO to biodiesel.
Significance of the initiative:
FSSAI 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. 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.
Need for regulation:
Currently, used cooking oil is either not discarded or disposed of in such a manner that it chokes drains and sewerage systems. Apart from setting quality standards, the new regulation addresses the way this oil is discarded. As used cooking oil is considered the most reasonable feedstock for biodiesel production, the FSSAI is planning to redirect the used cooking oil from the food business operators. It has already started collecting used oil in small quantities either through a barter arrangement or at cost.
1. FSSAI has fixed a limit for Total Polar Compounds (TPC) at 25% beyond which the vegetable oil shall not be used.
2. FSSAI has also established tests methods to estimate Total Polar Compounds (TPC) in Edible Oils and Fats based on AOAC Official Method 982.27
3. Small handheld devices such as Testo, for rapid on site testing to check the TPCs oil are available.
RUCO (Repurpose Used Cooking Oil) has been created. It is an ecosystem to enable the collection and conversion of UCO to biodiesel.