Restaurants reluctant to give away used edible oil to make biodiesel

ByPreety Acharya
Aug 27, 2019 09:30 PM IST

Noida: Food safety department officials, who are doing a survey of district restaurants and hotels to encourage them to give away used edible oil to convert it into biodiesel, are facing trouble in convincing them to do so.

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Most restaurants sell their used oil to soap making companies for 35-45 a litre while officials are only offering 20.

Officials are undertaking the survey for 10 days, between August 20 and 30, to ascertain the exact amount of used oil that can be collected from various restaurants and hotels.

According to officials, there are around 1,000 registered restaurants in the district of which around 200 fall in the higher range category. “We are reaching out to restaurants and explaining to them the importance of biodiesel for the betterment of environment. The Haryana-based company which will be converting the used oil to biodiesel is offering 20 per litre while the soap companies are paying around 35-45 per litre,” Sanjay Sharma, food safety officer, said.

On August 7, additional chief secretary Anita Bhatnagar held a meeting with all food safety officials from various districts to finalise the plan to ensure that no restaurant is reusing edible oil multiple times for frying purposes. In the meeting, all officials were asked to do a survey and ensure that restaurants give away their used oil to make biodiesel.

A plant to convert used cooking oil into biodiesel has been set up in Bawal city of Haryana. It is expected that the biodiesel manufacturing plant in Bawal will convert 100 tonnes of used cooking oil a day into biodiesel.

“The decision was taken six months ago that no restaurant or hotel can reuse cooking oil more than three times. We are expecting to collect around 1,000 litres of used oil but for that, restaurants need to come forward. People need to understand the importance of environment friendly biodiesel and think beyond the financial gain,” Sharma said.

Officials have said reputed and major food chains have come forward to cooperate with officials but small eateries need to be convinced as well. The quality of oil can be checked by ascertaining its total dissolved solids (TDS).

According to officials, the maximum permissible limit of Total Polar Compound (TPC) in edible oil is 25%. Repeated frying changes its physio-chemical and nutrition properties which leads to the formation of TPC making it unfit for consumption.

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