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General and Process

  • Oils are substances derived from plants that are composed of triglycerides. Nominally, oils are liquid at room temperature
  • In the processing of edible oils, the oil is heated under vacuum to near the smoke point, and water is introduced at the bottom of the oil. The water immediately is converted to steam, which bubbles through the oil, carrying with it any chemicals which are water-soluble. The steam sparging removes impurities that can impart unwanted flavors and odors to the oil.


  • India accounts for 9.3 per cent of world oilseed production. It has the world's fourth largest edible oil economy. Yet, about 43 per cent of edible oil available in India is imported.

  • India ranked as the world's largest importer of edible oils, displacing China. The bulk of edible oil India imports under the Open General Licence (OGL) is RBD palmolein of Malaysian and Indonesian origin.

  • In most parts of the world, import duty on oilseeds is lower than that on oils. But, in India, it is higher: 40 per cent. That is why no import of oilseeds or oil-bearing material has taken place in India. The industry wants the duty to be lowered from the present 40 per cent to 5 per cent.

  • Edible oils prices in the Indian market have crashed due to large imports by multinational trading houses.

  • The edible oils industry is one sector in India that will see considerable reform in the foreseeable future.

  • The government has banned export of edible oil for one year to check rising domestic prices and control inflation. The ban will be in place till March 16, 2009.

  • Edible oil has a weightage of 2.76% in the wholesale price index (WPI) -  higher than cement (1.73%), wheat (1.38%) and rice (2.45%).

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