Palm Oil Developments No.43 (Dec 2005) p1-9

Palm Oil: The Solution to Over-used Oil in South Africa

JOHARI Minal *, KOCK, J.L.F. ** , RAZALI Ismail * , POHL, C.H. ** , BOTES, P.J. ** , ABDULLAH Ariffin *

In South Africa, more than 100 000 t used frying oils are sold as cooking oils to the poor communities annually. While there is nothing wrong with the use of used oils/fats within the regulated specifications, they are, unfortunately, highly oxidized, unstable and, worse, may contain as high as 75% polymers. In animal studies, highly oxidized and degraded substances caused adverse biological effects including growth retardation, diarrhoea, cellular damage, etc. and even death (Kock et al., 2002). Highly oxidized fats also contain toxic compounds such as liposoluble contaminants like PAHs, PCBs and dioxins (Haw, 2003). Consequently, South Africa has strict regulations prohibiting the use of over-used oils in food preparation. By legislation, frying establishments are prohibited to use oil containing polymerized triglyceride (PTG) breakdown levels (also known as polymers) of 16% and above or total polar compounds (TPC) of 25% and above (Anon, 1996). Oils containing less than 16% polymers are regarded as safe and can also be distributed for further use in food preparations (Kock et al., 2002). During an international symposium on deep fat frying in Hagen, March 2000, several European Union (EU) countries accepted varying levels of PTG (10%-16%) and TPC (24%-27%) as the discard points for frying oil (Anon, 2000).

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