Don’t Get Duped! Identify Fake Cooking Oil with These Tips

Identify Fake Cooking Oil with These Tips (This image has been created with MidJourney)
Identify Fake Cooking Oil with These Tips (This image has been created with MidJourney)

Adulterated oil not only cheats you financially but can also pose significant health risks. As consumers, we need to be able to identify if the product we are consuming is real or counterfeit. Check the tips below to know more.

The Deceptive World of Fake Cooking Oil:

Fake cooking oil is typically made by adulterating genuine oil with cheaper alternatives or even hazardous substances. Common methods include:

Blending: Mixing low-cost oils like palm or soybean oil with expensive options like olive or avocado oil.

Artificially Enhancing: Using artificial colors and flavors to mask the inferior quality or altered composition of the oil.

Reprocessing Rancid Oil: Deodorizing and reusing old, spoiled oil to give it a fresh appearance.

These manipulations not only impact the taste and nutritional value of the oil but can also have serious health consequences.

Health Risks Associated with Fake Cooking Oil:

Fake cooking oil can contain a plethora of harmful substances that can lead to various health problems:

Trans fats: Increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.

Toxic contaminants: Heavy metals, pesticide residues, or industrial chemicals can cause liver and kidney damage, neurological disorders, and weaken the immune system.

Nutrient deficiency: Lack of essential fatty acids and antioxidants can impair cellular function, increase inflammation, and disrupt metabolic processes.

Chronic health issues: Long-term consumption can exacerbate existing health conditions and lead to serious illnesses.

7 Ways to Spot the Difference:

Identifying fake cooking oil requires a multi-pronged approach. Here are some methods:

Sensory Evaluation:

Look: Genuine oil should have a clear and consistent color characteristic of the specific type. Cloudiness or unusual colors can be red flags.

Smell: Fresh oil should have a pleasant, natural aroma. A strong, unpleasant odor or a lack of any scent could indicate adulteration.

Taste: Each oil has a distinct taste profile. If the oil tastes off-putting, bitter, or has an unusual flavor, it's best to avoid it.


Be wary of exceptionally low prices.  Genuine, high-quality oils typically come at a premium.


Look for tamper-proof seals and expiry dates.

Reputable brands often have unique packaging features or holograms to prevent counterfeiting.


Carefully read the label. It should clearly state the type of oil, ingredients, manufacturing details, and FSSAI certification mark.

Vague or incomplete labeling is a cause for concern.


Look for certifications from recognized food safety authorities. Some brands may also offer QR codes or traceability systems to verify the product's authenticity.

Purchase Source:

Buy cooking oil from reputable stores and brands. Avoid loose, unpackaged oil or oil from unreliable sources.

Laboratory Testing:

For ultimate peace of mind, consider getting the oil tested at a laboratory. This is especially recommended for expensive oils where adulteration is more common.

Oil is something we use every day. Therefore, it should not be compromised by any means. Prioritize your and your family’s health and well-being by choosing genuine cooking oil from trusted sources.

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