Almost all commercial food suppliers – beginning from a roadside stall owner to restaurants as also a part of the food processing industry – use groundnut oil in some proportion. And,of course, there is a bottle, a tin, or a poly pack/Tetra Pak of groundnut oil in millions of households in India – a country that happens to be the world’s largest importer and the third largest consumer of edible oils. However, are all groundnut oil types suitable for your consumption? Are all manufacturers keeping the promises that they make? Are you actually getting the quality and the quantity that you are (innocently) paying for?
How many types of groundnut oil?
Groundnut oil is available in the market in refined and filtered forms. Although filtered oils are nutritionally superior, they may contain toxic compounds if the filtration process is not of high quality. Hence, it is better to buy groundnut oils of reputed brands.
Groundnut oil is suitable for all types of cooking, particularly deep frying, grilling and seasoning. Raw groundnut oil is not suitable for direct human.
How To Best Match Your Oils To Foods
While the to-and-fro on the healthiest oil continues through various studies and findings, most of them clearly conclude against sticking to one type of oil for cooking. It is beneficial to consume a mix of oils to maintain a balance between the three fatty acids. The only way to ensure that you consume healthy oil is by switching between two-three of them – for instance, by using groundnut oil one month and then using sunflower oil in another. Even better, rotate the oil types for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Blending oils is another option, whereby you take equal proportions of different oils in one container and then use it. This way you do not get prolonged exposure to the side effects of one type of oil and also get the benefits of different oils.
You could also have two or more different kinds of oils in your kitchen which you could use for different purposes. For example, you could use olive oil for salads, groundnut oil for frying, and soyabean oil for other cooking purposes. This will let you avail of the health benefits offered by each oil brand.
However, refrain from reusing of oil as this has been linked with cancer.
The Indian vegetable oil economy is the world’s fourth largest after the US, China and Brazil, harvesting about 25 million tons of oilseeds against the world. Since 1995, Indian share in world production of oilseeds has been around 10 percent. Although, India is a major producer of oilseeds, per capita oil consumption in India is only 10.6 kg/annum which is low compared to 12.5 kg/annum in China, 20.8 kg/annum in Japan, 21.3 kg/annum in Brazil and 48.0 kg/annum in USA.
Vegetable oil consumption has increased following a rise in household incomes and consumer demand. India imports half of its edible oil requirement, making it the world’s third-largest importer of edible oil. The country buys soya oil from Argentina & Brazil and palm oil from Malaysia & Indonesia.
Currently, India accounts for 11.2 per cent of vegetable oil import and 9.3 per cent of edible oil consumption.
Types of Oils commonly in use in India:
India has a wide range of oilseeds crops grown in its different agro climatic zones. Groundnut, mustard/rapeseed, sesame, safflower, linseed, nigerseed / castorseed are the major traditionally cultivated oilseeds. Soyabean and sunflower have also assumed importance in recent years. Groundnut, soyabean and mustard together contribute about 85 percent of the country’s oilseeds production. Coconut is most important amongst the plantation crops. Efforts are being made to grow oil palm in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu in addition to Kerala and Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Among the non-conventional oils, ricebran oil and cottonseed oil are the most important. In addition, oilseeds of tree and forest origin, which grow mostly in tribal inhabited areas, are also a significant source of oils.
Until 2002, the olive oil sector in India was predominantly unorganised. The olive oil industry in India is small and largely people use it more for cosmetic purposes than for cooking. Today Indians are moving to better cooking mediums like Olive oil for health and wellness reasons. Olive Oil has always been placed somewhere between food and medicine and the biggest challenge is to educate Indian consumers on the benefits of olive oil as a cooking medium. Today, the domestic olive oil consumption is seen rising 25% annually.
Production of Oilseeds in India:
India is one of the largest producers of oilseeds in the world and this sector occupies an important position in the agricultural economy and accounts for an estimated production of 28.21 million tonnes of nine cultivated oilseeds during the year 2007-08. India contributes about 6 -7% of the world oilseeds production.
Localisation of the Industry:
India is one of the largest producers of oilseeds in the world. The oilseeds area and output is concentrated in Central and southern parts of India, mainly in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. In India, oilseeds are grown in an area of nearly 27 million hectares across the length and breadth of the country.
India ranks second in the world (after China) in groundnut production. The three southern states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and the western state of Gujarat together account for close to 80% of the annual output in India. Regional trends in groundnut production indicate that the recent increase in groundnut yields has mainly occurred in Tamil Nadu due to increased irrigation. Although Tamil Nadu accounts for 12% of the total area under groundnuts, it contributes to 22% of the total production.
In India Madhya Pradesh is the leading state in producing soybean followed by Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. On an average, Madhya Pradesh produces 74 percent of India’s total soybean crop; Maharashtra, 13 percent; and Rajasthan, 10 percent. The crop has exhibited a vast potential as a monsoon season crop mainly in Central India, and is extending its coverage in the Southern parts of the country.
India relies on import route for its olive requirement, as the country has no olive cultivation locally except in a few pockets in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. For the first time, Rajasthan government has tied up with an Israeli firm Indolive Ltd and Indian company Plastro Plasson Industries to promote olive farming on 210 hectares in the state.
spice a dried seed, fruit, root, bark, or vegetable substances primarily used for flavouring, colouring or preserving food. Sometimes a spice is used to hide other flavours. Spices are distinguished from herbs, which are parts of leafy green plants also used for flavouring or as garnish. Many spices have antimicrobial properties. This may explain why spices are more commonly used in warmer climates, which have more infectious disease, and why use of spices is especially prominent in meat, which is particularly susceptible to spoiling.
A spice may have other uses, including medicinal, cosmetics or perfume production, or as a vegetable. For example, turmeric roots are consumed as a vegetable and garlic as an antibiotic. India primarily exports pepper, chilli, turmeric, ginger, cardamom, coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek, celery, nutmeg and mace, garlic, tamarind and vanilla. Processed spices such as spice oils and oleoresins, mint products, curry powder, spice powders blends and seasonings and also exported. The export of processed spices such as curry powder, mint products and spice oils and oleoresins accounted for 44.2 per cent of total exports. Mint products accounted for a large volume of spice exports in 2012-13 with a share of 29.7 per cent. Mint product exports grew from US $ 235.4 million in 2008-09 to US $ 415.3 million in 2012-13. Spice oils and oleoresins exports grew from US $ 156.9 million in 2008-09 to US $ 241.1 million in 2012-13. Indian spices exports have been able to record strident gains in both volume and value in Rupee terms.
It is first time in the history of Spices export the growth in volume registered an all-time growth of 26 per cent. Spices exports have registered substantial growth during the last five years, registering compound annual average growth rate of 23 per cent in value and 11 per cent in volume and India commands a formidable position in the World Spice Trade.
The tariffs for import have also been steadily brought down. Under Free Trade Agreement with Sri Lanka, duty free import of spices is permitted. Duty free imports are also allowed under the Advance Authorization Scheme for value addition and re-export. The US is the major importer followed by China, the UAE, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the UK, Germany, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Exports to the US grew at a rate of 11.6 per cent from US $ 215.4 million in 2007-08 to US $ 334.8 million in 2011-12. (Source: India brand equity foundation 2013).