Batches of a brand of vegetable ghee currently on sale in local stores pose a health risk and should not be consumed, health authorities, have warned. 

One-litre containers of Vita pure vegetable ghee with an expiry date of 09.05.2024 contain elevated levels of glycidyl fatty acid esters, the Environmental Health Directorate said. 

The directorate said batches with the lot number PD: 09.05.2022 (C) / PN119 are affected. 

Glycidyl fatty acid esters are one of the main contaminants in processed oils, forming when oils are heated to temperatures above 200°C.

While all refined oils contain traces of them, elevated levels are considered a health risk as they are turned into glycidol in the digestive tract.  

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classifies glycidol as a Group 2A agent, which is probably carcinogenic to humans. 

Vegetable ghee is a vegetarian alternative to traditional ghee, or clarified butter, that is made up of hardened vegetable oil.

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