The Monitor

Production Process Insights

Maintain Safety Throughout the Edible Oil Supply Chain

Posted by Nate Leonard on 2/8/21 8:00 AM
Find me on:


The demand for edible oils – including vegetable, olive, palm and seed oils – continues to accelerate. Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to accidental or deliberate malpractice within the supply chain, such as adulteration of raw ingredients or finished products, mislabeling of products, or environmentally unsustainable operations. That’s why representative sampling is critical to ensuring the safety and reliability of all edible oil products.

Complex Supply Chain = Greater Opportunity for Error

An agricultural supply chain is comprised of all the activities, organizations, resources and services involved in producing food products for consumers. It includes producers and manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, as well as exporters and consumers.

The growing complexity of the global agricultural supply chain means that ensuring the safety and authenticity of food is an ever-increasing challenge. Many major players in the global agriculture supply chain have listed sustainability and traceability as two of the driving trends in food innovation.

Legislation and guidelines also differ from country to country, making it vital that food processors, manufacturers and traders throughout the supply chain follow the latest developments to ensure they’re operating within the law.

Improving traceability and ensuring sustainability within these long and complex supply chains can be difficult. Because of the multiple touchpoints, there’s an inherent risk that one or more weak points can lead to failures in the chain. Risks include areas that producers can control, such as ingredient and product quality, technical capabilities and logistics management, as well as risks caused by a less controllable nature such as market and policy environments.

These activities create significant challenges for global supply chains that require rigorous analysis to ensure the safety and reliability of edible oils. As such, sampling edible oils is a critical practice to ensure quality standards are followed rigorously and a quality product is provided to the consumer.

Reduce supply chain risks with automatic sampling

Processed oil should be consistent in all aspects. It should be uniform in color, taste and viscosity, and it should be free of impurities. Automatic sampling can help optimize sampling accuracy and repeatability in every step of the extraction and refining process, which ensures the final product meets these demands for consumption and practical use.

Automatic sampling plays an important part in improving the safety and sustainability of the food supply around the world. The European Commission states that samples should be representative:

Representative sampling: the sample should be representative of the whole consignment. Incremental samples must be taken throughout the lot or during the whole of the discharge process. The incremental samples must be mixed thoroughly to create the aggregate sample. Ensure that the product being sampled remains unaltered by the sampling process.

Sampling can analyze oils for a variety of components, including:

  • Fatty acid composition
  • Chemical composition
  • Triacylglycerol profile
  • Unsaponifiable fraction
  • Stable isotopes
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)
  • Molecular markers
  • PCR inhibitors
  • Contaminants
  • Pathogens

The European Commission recommends that the minimum quantity for each sample is 0.5 l or 0.5 kg for animal and vegetables fats and oils.
For edible oil producers and distributors, automatic sampling can help them:

  • Comply with applicable laws and regulations
  • Maintain sustainable practices
  • Prevent rancidity
  • Maximize quality throughout the supply chain process
  • Verify geographical/botanical origins
  • Verify authenticity

Automatic samplers are ideal for sampling edible oils. With consistent performance over a wide range of process applications, environmental conditions and temperatures, Sentry samplers offer food and beverage companies accurate, fixed volume automatic sampling solutions.

Automatic Sampling: Why It's Essential for Food & Beverages

Topics: Food & Beverage, Liquid & Slurry

Written by Nate Leonard

Picture of Nate Leonard
Director of Sales - APAC/South America