Which is the best groundnut oil?

Groundnut oil is one of the healthiest cooking oil but is all good with groundnut oil brands available in the market. Consumer VOICE experts compared 10 brands of groundnut oil to check the adulteration levels, rancidity, flash point and many more. Read on to know the best buy and value for money brand.

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Overview

Groundnut oil is derived from, well, groundnuts and is an important source of energy in our diet, meeting specific nutritional requirements. It works well with a wide variety of foods, which is a good thing because it contains heart-friendly MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids) – the thing that lowers the level of bad cholesterol in our body without lowering the levels of good cholesterol. Throw in some omega-6 fatty acids and you have quite the ideal cooking oil. Groundnut oil is also low in saturated fats and high in unsaturated fats. Its high smoking point means the oil holds on to its nutritional content at higher temperatures. One gets the picture. The question is: how do the various brands fare against one another on the parameters that matter? Health claims made by brands and communicated via multiple media often leave the consumer confused about the best/better buy— and those who are not confused will pick any that is available in the market.

BRANDS STUDIED

 
  • Dhara
  • Patanjali
  • Kanodia
  • Dalda
  • Gulab

 

 

  • Guinea
  • Gemini
  • Postman
  • Fortune
  • RRO Primio

 

PARAMETERS STUDIED

  • Moisture and Insoluble Properties
  • Presence of other oils/fats
  • Rancidity,
  • Antioxidants,

 

 

  • Adulteration with Argemone oil and Mineral oil,
  • Iodine Value
  • Acid Value
  • Flash Point.

 

Five brands claimed to be filtered oil/extra virgin – it may be noted that the national standard has not specified a ‘filtered oil’ category. Rest were all refined oils.

Consumer VOICE Recommendations

Best Buy

Value for Money

DHARA

PATANJALI

BRANDS TESTED

Score Rating: >90; very good*****, 71-90: good****, 51-70: average***, 31-50:poor**, up to 30:very poor*

Key Findings

Based on the overall test findings, Dhara is the top performer and is followed by Patanjali and Kanodia.

  • The value-for-money brand is Patanjali.
  • All the tested brands were free of adulteration.
  • All brands were free of argemone oil and mineral oil.
  • Saponifiation value of RRO Primio was lower (186.3) than the value (188–196) specified by the national standard. All other FSS- specified requirements were met by all the brands.

Shelf Life

The declared shelf life of the tested brands varied from six to 12 months. Where the shelf life is six months there is all the more need for consumers to be aware, particularly if they are buying the large pack of five litres or higher capacity. They must ensure that the oil remains stable within the consumption period.

TEST RESULTS FOR PHYSICOCHEMICAL PARAMETERS

Moisture and Insoluble Impurities | Refractive Index |Saponification Value | Iodine Value | Unsaponifiable Matter | Acid Value | TBHQ | Flash Point | Physical Observations | Hexane | Presence of Argemone Oil |Presence of Mineral Oil

Moisture and Insoluble Impurities

Moisture and insoluble impurities may be present in edible oils but these should be as low as possible

– Indian Standard and AGMARK have specified the permissible limit at 0.1 per cent for refined oils

(expressed and solvent refined).

  • All brands were within the permissible limit.
  • Dhara scored highest on this parameter.
Refractive Index (at 40 degrees Celsius)

Refractive index of oil can be used to detect rancidity. It shall be in the range of 1.4620–1.4640.

  • All brands were within the specified limit. They were clear and without any haziness.
  • Dhara scored highest on this parameter.
Saponification Value

The saponification value helps to detect the presence of other oils/fats. Saponification value of

groundnut oil shall be between 188 and 196.

  • All brands except RRO Primio were within the specified limit.
  • Dhara scored highest on this parameter as well.
Iodine Value

The iodine value is a measure of the unsaturated fats. It is expressed in terms of the number ofcentigrams of iodine absorbed per gram of sample (% iodine absorbed). Iodine value of groundnut oil shall be in the range of 85–99.

  • Iodine value of all brands fell within the specified limit.
  • Dalda scored highest on this parameter.
Unsaponifiable Matter

Unsaponifiable matter shall not be more than 1.0 per cent by weight of groundnut oil.

  • All brands were within the specified limit.
Acid Value

The acid value is the number of milligrams of potassium hydroxide necessary to neutralize the free

acids in one gram of sample. Acid value shall not be more than 0.5 for refined oils. For filtered-type oils,

the requirement is 6.0.

  • All brands were within the specified limit.
TBHQ (Antioxidant)

Antioxidants are the permitted food additives which when added to food products prevent their oxidative deterioration for better nutritional stability and quality. FSS Regulations recommend that antioxidants should not exceed 0.02 per cent, or 200 ppm, in concentration. We tested the 10 groundnut oil brands for the antioxidant TBHQ.

  • TBHQ was not detected in Dhara, Gemini, Guinea and Gulab; in therest of the brands it was within the maximum recommended limit of 200 ppm.
Flash Point

The flash point of a volatile material is the lowest temperature at which it can vaporize to form an ignitable mixture in air. At the flash point, the vapor may cease to burn when the source of ignition is removed. It should not be less than 250 degrees C as per Indian Standard. Higher the flash point of groundnut oil, lower is the risk of ignition in the oil.

  • Flash point of all brands was found to be well above the specified limit.
Hexane

In refined oils, hexane is used to extract the oil from seeds. It shall not be more than 5 ppm as per Indian Standard. For filtered oils, no requirement has been specified because hexane is not required to

extract the oil from seeds.

  • Hexane was not detected in any of the brands, up to a detection limit of 5 mg/kg.

PHYSICOCHEMICAL SCORES

Required to Be Absent:

Argemone Oil and Mineral Oil

  • All brands were found to be free of both argemone oil and mineral oil.

Physical Observations/Tests

Physical observations on the 10 samples were made by laboratory scientists. The oil has to be clear and free of rancidity, adulterants, sediments, suspended and other foreign matter, separated water and added colouring and flavouring substances.

All brands scored equally well on this parameter.

FOR GENERAL QUALITIES

Marking/Labelling

The following details shall be marked on each

pack:

  1. Name of manufacturer/marketer/importer
  2. Batch number, month and year of manufacture
  3. Net quantity
  4. The statement that the product is ‘free from argemone oil
  5. Nutritional information
  6. The words ‘best before’ (month and year)
  7. Maximum retail price (MRP)
  • All brands have given the necessary information on their packs.
  • All the brands have mentioned nutritional values of the groundnut oil on their packaging.
Packing

The groundnut oil should be packed in food-grade material that does not affect the properties of the oil and at the same time maintains the shelf life of the product. As far as possible, the product shall be either in such packages that can be recycled or packed in reusable and/or biodegradable materials. Most of the brands were in polypack or plastic bottle of one-litre capacity. Dhara was in Tetra Pak.

Net Weight

All brands were found to exceed the claimed quantity.

How To Mix and Match Your Oils

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that oil behaves differently when heated – it changes texture, colour, taste and nutritional properties. When the oil reaches its smoking point, a lot of the nutrients are destroyed and it can sometimes form harmful compounds. 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/mustard oil in another. Any single oil alone is not preferred. 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/rice bran oil for frying, and mustard/ soybean/sunflower oil for other cooking purposes. This will let you avail of the health benefits offered by each oil brand.