Govt mulls framing policy on trans fat, edible oil use

The Government of Bangladesh is working to promulgate policy on trans-fat and use of edible oil in restaurants as well as raise stakeholder awareness on the issue, said Abdul Kayowm Sarker, Chairman of Bangladesh Food Safety Authority (BFSA). 

The policy will address the issues of proper use of edible oil and trans-fat content in food.

Speaking as a Chief Guest at the stakeholder dialogue on Policy of Developing Collection System for Used Cooking Oil in Bangladesh on Monday, he said that according to Food Safety Hygiene Regulation 2018, in section 7(a), nobody can use any by-products of food preparation. 

Used cooking oil is a kind of waste product at restaurants and food industries, hence it must not be applied for further use as it violates the Food Safety (Hygiene) Regulation, 2018. 

"In particular, we are interested in implementing the testing methods into our regular checks at restaurants and other food business operators in order to monitor the exact amount of used cooking oil as well as other criteria", he added. 

Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) and Muenzer Bangla Private Limited- a subsidiary of Muenzer Bioindustrie of Europe organized the virtual dialogue on Policy of Developing Collection System for Used Cooking Oil in Bangladesh. 

The BFSA Chairman said that BFSA is keen to develop a strategy for recycling of used cooking oil so that these oils can be safely used for further value addition and safe waste disposal. We will cooperate with scientific and logistic supports to any steps, which has proper logical, scientific and environment friendly methods and that will come through a proper way, he said. 

Monzur Morshed Ahmed, Member of BFSA said, there are many health safety issues regarding the use of used cooking oil. On the other hand, used cooking oil can be used as value added products taking the environmental aspects into account. 

While addressing BUILD CEO Ferdaus Ara Begum who moderated the program underscored the need for initiating policy support by the government for formal collection systems of used cooking oil in Bangladesh. 

"We require a formal policy prescription from our government to transition from existing informal channels for re-used cooking oil towards formal channel for collection of used cooking oil and its recycling", she said.

Dr. Latiful Bari, Chief Scientist, Food Analysis & Research Centre for Advanced Research of Sciences gave a presentation on “Developing Collection System for Used Cooking Oil in Bangladesh.” 

He said that reusing cooking oil increases the cholesterol, creates peroxides acid, causes cancer and so on. Cooking oil with high percentage of polar compounds is the prime cause for some of the worst diseases. 

During his presentation, Harald SIGL, Head of Corporate Communications & Public Affairs at Muenzer Bio-industry, Austria/Europe said that it is indispensable to have a clear legal regulation on the collection of Used Cooking Oil.