There is now a lot of attention on sugary beverages and HFSS foods from a food safety perspective. Much of this is because of the rapid rise in the number of people suffering from obesity and cardiovascular disease.
There is insufficient hype and visibility for carcinogens. Cancer is a much bigger problem and attacks people of all ages. Unlike cardiovascular disease, cancer is not specifically a problem of middle aged or older people.
Cancer must also become a high attention area of food safety initiatives in India.
That’s why this article about packaged “Indian salty snacks” being a 25000 crore market is important. Because we all know that “Indian salty snacks” is mostly deep fried namkeen.
Heated oils, especially heated vegetable oils are susceptible to oxidation. A whole range of other carcinogens are formed as well.
The FSSAI recently realised this problem and has restricted the reuse of oils for frying by restaurants.
But what about the levels of these carcinogens in packaged namkeen products?
All deep fried or baked snacks that use vegetable oils must be asked to test for the levels of these toxins in their products and state it in the product label. There is no such thing as a zero toxin deep fried product. All of them will have these. Don’t consumers have a right to know how much?