Foods & Culinary

Note: Determination of mineral oil hydrocarbons in food

This application describes the determination of mineral oil hydrocarbons in food and food packaging using the LC-GCxGCMS technique

Food can be contaminated by mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) from per and cardboard packaging. The source of this contamination is inks that are either applied directly to the packaging or introduced through the recycling process. The risk of contamination arises not only through direct contact with packaging material, but also along the entire production and trade chain.

According to the latest scientific research, there is insufficient toxicological evidence to demonstrate a human health risk from saturated mineral oil fractions (MOSH). Mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH), on the other hand, are suspected of being carcinogenic (especially PAH-like compounds with three- to seven-ring systems), which is why their food content should be kept to a minimum according to the ALARA principle (as low as can reasonably be achieved). There are currently no specific legal regulations or maximum permissible concentrations for mineral oil residues in food. In February 2017, the fourth draft of the 22nd ordinance amending the German consumer goods ordinance (mineral oil ordinance) was published. This stipulated that functional barriers should be used to ensure that MOAHs made from materials that contain recycled per in contact with food were not transferred to the food in detectable amounts. The detectable limit of detection is 0.5 mg / kg food. The draft is currently being consulted by the Federal Ministry and is to be notified by the European Commission.

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