Monitoring Storage Stability of RBD Palm Olein

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In 2015, large amounts of contaminated palm oil from 10 major markets in Tema and Accra were confiscated by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA). Every year, many such high-profile cases of palm oil adulteration emerge and shock people. Palm oil adulteration has always been a major concern for countries in the world. Activated red dye, rancid oil, etc. are toxic substances that are extensively used as adulterants in RBD palm oil in order to improve and maintain the color of palm oil. However, these adulterants greatly degrade the quality of such oils. In addition, blending of animal fats, particularly enzymatically-randomized lard (ERLD), has become a chief concern for many religions.

Adulteration in Vegetable Oils

Fractionation of palm oil, following a crystallization process at controlled temperatures, produces RBD palm olein – a refined, bleached and deodorized form of oil. RBD palm olein is one of the most suitable vegetable oils for cooking. The quality and stability of the oil are key factors that impact its acceptability and market value. Given the increasing rate of adulteration in vegetable oils, it has become very important to keep a quality check at all stages – from manufacturing through to packaging and distribution.

Adulterated oils can cause heart and liver diseases, cancer, epidemic dropsy, stomach problems and even loss of eyesight. Hence, a number of methods have been recommended over the years to assess the stability and quality of vegetable oils. Yet, it has been observed that no method has been fast, quantitative and qualitative enough to match today’s complex competitive environment.

Electronic Noses

The development of electronic noses has brought about some change and rendered an effective medium to accomplish the demand of the hour. California-based Electronic Sensor Technology offers zNose®, an advanced electronic nose that is fast, simple and easy-to-handle. This vapor analyzer can detect and quantify a wide range of complex fragrances, using ultra-fast gas chromatography, a visual fragrance pattern known as VaporPrint™ and surface acoustic wave (SAW) detector. The zNose® provides a rapid method to detect and measure the quality of RBD palm olein and also track its storage stability.

In order to inspect the efficiency of zNose®, 10 trained panelists performed a descriptive test through sensory analysis. The storage stability of RBD palm olein was also tracked using ultra-fast gas chromatography and surface acoustic wave (SAW) detectors. It was observed that the zNose® not only quantified the oil samples efficiently but also identified the characteristics of rancid and fresh RBD palm olein. The analyzer also successfully identified the changes in Free Fatty Acids (FFA) and Peroxide Value (PV).

Therefore, the zNose® could serve as a one-stop solution to combat oil adulteration. In fact, oil manufacturing and distributing companies can invest their trust, time and money on the proficiency of zNose® without any misgivings. The device is capable of detecting and measuring the unwanted compounds that affect the quality of palm oil and other food and beverage items with speed, precision and accuracy, thereby giving customers a safe and sound vegetable oil for cooking.


This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Electronic Sensor Technology.

For more information on this source, please visit Electronic Sensor Technology.

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