Repurpose Used Cooking Oil (RUCO) Initiative by FSSAI

Repurpose Used Cooking Oil (RUCO) Initiative by FSSAI

Using the same cooking oil for repeated frying has adverse health effects. This Used Cooking Oil (UCO) is also a potential feedstock for manufacturing biodiesel. Therefore, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has launched ‘Repurpose Used Cooking Oil’ (RUCO) – an ecosystem to enable the collection and conversion of used cooking oil to biodiesel. The current consumption trend of UCO is as follows:

Food60%
Soaps & Oleo15%
Animal Feed10%
Misc. (including biodiesel10%
Total100%

RUCO – Introduction

Edible vegetable oils are used in frying of foods. During frying, the quality of oil deteriorates. The practice of reheating cooking oil or using the same cooking oil for frying is common. Cooking oil is often repeatedly used by topping it up with fresh oil.

Using the same oil repeatedly for frying leads to changes in the physico-chemical, nutritional and sensory properties of the oil. It also leads to the formation of Total Polar Compounds (TPC), which makes the oil, unit for human consumption beyond certain limits.

Reports have related these compounds to several diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver disease etc. The purpose of this guidance note is to outline proper means for handling and disposing of used oil in order to safeguard the environment and consumer health.

Generally, big food businesses involved in the manufacturing of fried foods dispose of their used cooking oil (UCO) for industrial purposes (soap manufacture, etc.) but sometimes it finds way to small food vendors at cheap prices. At household level or by road-side vendors, the UCO is discarded in an environmentally hazardous manner blocking the sewerage and drainage systems.

Therefore, in order to safeguard public health, FSSAI has notified the limit of Total Polar Compounds (TPC) to be not more than 25% beyond which the oil is unsafe for human consumption. 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.

RUCO – Implementation

FSSAI is implementing an EEE Strategy –

  • Education
  • Enforcement
  • Ecosystem

to divert Used Cooking Oil from the food value chain and curb current illegal practices.The EEE Strategy approach ensures good health and welfare for all 130-crore citizens, aiding energy security, climate change mitigation, and leading to environmentally sustainable development.

Handling & Disposal of Used Cooking Oil (UCO)

A guide note published by FSSAI, outlines the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for safe handling and disposal of UCO for the beneit of consumers as well as small and big Food Business Operators (FBOs).

Procedure for Basic Handling of Cooking Oil at Households

  • At household level, oil once used for frying foods should be filtered and may be used for curry preparation in order to make it economical.
  • Avoid using the same oil for frying.
  • UCO should be disposed when blue-grey smoke appears or tough foam gets formed or oil becomes dark and murky or the consistency of oil changes. These are some of the indications of deteriorated quality of oil.
  • Used Cooking Oil should be consumed in a day or two.
  • It should not be stored for longer times as the rate of deterioration is higher in used oil.
  • Do not reill the fresh oil container with UCO. Store it separately.
  • In order to dispose small quantities of UCO, mix the oil with an absorbent material, such as sand or sawdust orused towel or paper towel or food scraps to avoid the chances of spillage and then throw it away in dustbins.

For small Food Business Operators (FBOs)

  • Do not use same oil for more than three times. It is ideal to use only once
  • Cooking oil should be filtered frequently to remove food particles.
  • UCO should be disposed when blue-grey smoke appears or tough foam gets formed or oil becomes dark and murky or the consistency of oil changes. These are some of the indications that the quality of oil has deteriorated.
  • Do not dispose of the discarded oil in drains/sewerage systems.
  • UCO should be discarded in an environment friendly way preferably by providing it to theauthorized UCO aggregators/ collection agencies that are registered with authorized agencies such as States Biodiesel Boards, Biodiesel Association of India and other agencies nominated by state government to collect such oil for the manufacture of biodiesel or any other industrial purpos.
  • Keep UCO away from lame, gas cylinders etc.
  • FBOs should refrain from buying UCO for manufacturing their foods products.

For big Food Business Operators (FBOs)

  • Cooking oils having developed Total Polar Compounds beyond the limit of 25% are hazardous waste. Discard such edible oil.
  • Keep the discarded oil in a separate container once it is cooled. Keep headspace while filling. Always label the container to avoid cross contamination.
  • Do not transfer hot oil to avoid chances of spilling and injury.
  • Transfer the used cooking oil safely into the collecting drums provided by authorized collection agency.
  • Keep used cooking oil away from lame, gas cylinders etc.
  • UCO should be discarded in an environment friendly way preferably by providing it to the authorized UCO aggregators /collectiona gencies that are registered with authorized agencies such as States Biodiesel Boards, Biodiesel Association of India and other agencies nominated by state government.
  • All Food Business Operators should train their staff responsible for handling and disposal of used cooking oil regarding procedures prescribed in this document.
  • All FBOs whose consumption of edible oils for frying is more than 50 Kg or litres per day shall maintain the following record:

FSSAI Regulations:

Food Safety and Standards (Licensing and Registration of Food Businesses) Regulation, 2011 covers provisions regarding Used Cooking Oil (UCO). At present, following provisions in Schedule 4 Part V- Specific Hygienic and Sanitary Practices are to be followed by Food Business Operators engaged in catering/food service establishments:

National Policy on Biofuels 2018

As per the National Policy on Biofuels -2018, ‘Biofuels’ are fuels produced from renewable resources and used in place of or inblend with, diesel, petrol or other fossil fuels for transport, stationary, portable and other applications. The major thrust of this policy is to ensure availability of biofuels from indigenous feedstock.

The policy further defines ‘biodiesel’ as a biofuel produced from non-edible vegetable oils, acid oil, used cooking oil (UCO) or animal fat and bio-oil. The policy sets an indicative target of 5% blending of biodiesel in diesel is proposed by 2030.

Read Ahead:

  • Guidelines for UCO Collection – Notification
  • Guidance note on Handling & disposal of Used Cooking Oil – Booklet
  • FSSAI Gazette Notification on TPC – Notification

Zomato, BioD Energy partner for cooking oil to Biodiesel project

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