Q. Analytical tests for fats and oils?
The analytical tests used in fats and oils are to:
• determine the nature of fat or oil or the blends to see whether it is of the type required or specified, and
• assess the quality of fat.
Many tests are involved to evaluate these two factors involving the physical analysis and chemical analysis. However, due to the complexities and time constraints, only a few tests are being discussed in this unit. Only the tests to determine the quality of fats/oils are being undertaken.
Let us first of all become familiar with the quality parameter requirements for fats/oils.
It may be necessary to assess the quality of either "crude" oils or "refined and deodorised" oils. For the former (crude oils), the specified criteria are usually moisture, impurities, colour and free fatty acid contents and tests for adulteration are used while for the latter (refined/deodorized oils), flavour, FFA content, moisture, colour, rancidity, adulteration and stability to autoxidation are the minimum requirements for reliable judgment. In this practical we will be conducting the important tests for purity.