Edible oil sector told to mention volume, not temperature, on packages

The Department of Legal Metrology has asked the manufacturers of edible oil, vanaspati and non-edible vegetable oils to mention the volume and weight of the content in the package and not to mention the temperature at which the commodity is filled.

In a statement, BV Mehta, Executive Director of Solvent Extractors’ Association of India (SEA), said the association had brought to the notice of the Department of Legal Metrology in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution that some edible oil companies are resorting to an unfair trade practice by packing 1-litre pack at a higher temperature than room temperature (30°C) thereby offering lesser weight to consumer.

He said the association had further suggested standardising packing conditions so that uniform weight mass of oil is always offered to consumers and they are not short-changed.

Consumer interest

“We are happy to mention the Legal Metrology Department, New Delhi, has considered the suggestion made by the association and issued an order dated July 15, 2022, requiring manufacturers of edible oil, vanaspati, and non-edible vegetable oils to mention volume and weight of the content in the package and not to mention the temperature at which the commodity is filled,” he said, adding this will protect the interest of consumers and also provide an even playing field to all the manufacturers and packers of edible oils.

The order, dated July 15, said since temperature and density are inversely proportional, volume being constant, the consumer may be cheated when packaging mentions a higher temperature.

As per the Fourth Schedule of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011 the net quantity for ‘non-edible vegetable oil, edible oil and vanaspati ghee and butter oil’ must be declared in volume or weight. However, as per the Second Schedule of the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules, 2011, if net quantity is declared in volume, it must also be declared in mass. But there is no requirement/provision of mentioning a specific temperature on the packaging of edible oil, it said.

“The manufacturers/packers/importers may be advised to correct their labelling of declaring net quantity in the units of volume, within six months from the date of this direction, which should be without mentioning temperature,” the order said.

Published on

July 21, 2022

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