The government on Thursday directed edible oil makers, packers and importers to mention net quantity in terms of volume and weight on the labels instead of temperature at the time of packing as part of efforts to curb unfair business practices.
The entities have been given time till January 15, 2023, to correct the labelling, the consumer affairs ministry said in a statement.
Since the weight of edible oil is different at different temperatures, the companies have been asked to pack the commodity without mentioning temperature and to ensure that the quantity declared on the package in volume and mass should be correct, it said.
The move comes amid rising consumer complaints against edible oil brands regarding unfair trade practices.
Under the Legal Metrology (Packaged Commodities) Rules 2011, it is mandatory to declare the net quantity in terms of standard units of weight or measure apart from other declarations on all pre-packaged commodities in the interest of consumers.
As per the provisions made under the rules, the net quantity of edible oil, vanaspati, ghee, etc needs to be declared either in weight or volume and if declared in volume, then the equivalent weight of the commodity mandatorily to be declared.
"It is observed that industries are pro-actively mentioning temperature while declaring the net quantity in volume," the statement said.
The companies are declaring the net quantity of edible oil in volume, mentioning the temperature at the time of packing along with the units of mass. Few manufacturers were depicting temperatures as high as 60 degrees Celsius.
According to the ministry, it has been observed that such declaration of net quantity of edible oil, vanaspati ghee etc. in terms of volume keeping the volume fixed (for example 1 litre) at different temperatures with mass, which differs when the packaging mentions a higher temperature.
The weight of soyabean edible oil may be different at different temperatures keeping the volume one litre.
Ideally, edible oil should be packed at 30 degrees Celsius. If packed at 21-degree Celcius, the weight should be mentioned as 919 grams and if packed at 60 degrees celsius it will be 892.6 grams.
This will ensure the consumer gets the correct quantity in the package at the time of purchase, it added.
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