On the occasion of the upcoming Advent season,LGL in October and November advent calendar for their contamination with mineral oil components. And again the testers found what they were looking for.
Mineral oil components can get into food in many different ways. A relevant contribution is made through the use of food packaging made from waste paper. Here are mineral oilsv. a. registered by daily newspapers, which serve as a recycling raw material, and in which inks containing mineral oil are used. Mineral oil-based inks can also be used to print food packaging made from paper and cardboard (both from waste paper and from fresh fiber). There are also some mineral oils that are used for a wide variety of purposes in papermaking. In the field of food packaging, jute bags also play for the transport ofe.g. B.Cocoa beans have a role that can be impregnated with mineral oils. In addition to contamination from packaging, there are other sources such as lubricating oils from machines that are used for harvesting and producing food, or processing aidsor. Additives for food based on mineral oil. After all, mineral oils are also ubiquitous environmental contaminantse.g. B. get into the environment through exhaust fumes, road surfaces or tire abrasion.
The mineral oil mixtures consist of linear, branched and cyclic saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH - mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons) and (mostly) alkylated aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH - mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons). You canu. a. vary in the carbon number, moreover not all contain mineral oil productsMOAH. These properties are also important for health relevance.
MOSH are enriched up to a carbon number of C35 in the lymph nodes, liver, spleen and adipose tissue, in animal experiments damage to the liver and lymph nodes was caused byMOSH, observed.MOAH are not enriched, but it cannot be excluded that this fraction also contains carcinogenic substances .
According to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), mineral oil contamination is fundamentally undesirable. Transitions fromMOSH on foods should be minimized as much as technically possible and there should be no detectable transition fromMOAH take place on food .
In Article 3 of the Framework Regulation for Food Contact Materials Regulation (EG) 1935/2004 states that materials and articles are to be manufactured according to good manufacturing practice in such a way that under normal or foreseeable conditions of use they do not release any components onto foods in amounts that are likely to endanger human health or cause an unacceptable change in the composition of the foods bring about. This generally formulated requirement should be specified in the future for the transition from mineral oil components to food. In a draft to change the national consumer goods regulation, the so-called "mineral oil regulation", the transition fromMOSH andMOAH made of paper-or.Cardboard packaging on foodstuffs are subject to limit values. However, the regulation will only apply to packaging made from recycled materials. Another draft to amend the Consumer Goods Ordinance, the so-called "Printing Ink Ordinance", provides that mineral oil-containing printing inks may no longer be used for printing on food packaging. This regulation is currently in the notification process ofEU-Commission .
Apart from transitions from food packaging, mineral oil contamination of food falls within the scope of theEU- Basic Regulation (VO (EG) 178/2002) for food. Article 14 of this regulation prohibits the placing on the market of food that is considered unsafe due to its harmful effects on health.
As part of the investigations carried out, theMOSH- andMOAH-Contents determined from five advent calendars. Both the chocolate and the carton packaging were examined (see table).
In all packaging examinedMOSH, but noneMOAH proven. According to the results, fresh fiber cartons and mineral oil-free printing inks were used throughout. At least one of the five calendars also contained a barrier to prevent the transfer of mineral oil from the packaging to the chocolate. In this case the chocolate was wrapped in aluminum foil again. In another calendar, the chocolates were separated from the packaging carton by an intermediate layer, which may have barrier properties.
MOSH could be determined in all chocolates. The majority of these substances belong to a fraction with a carbon number above 24 (> C24). Such substances are hardly volatile, which precludes a transition from the cardboard packaging through the steam room to the chocolate. For the fraction with a carbon number below 24 (
In the chocolates from three of the five calendars wereMOAH detectable in low concentrations. A transition from the cardboard packaging is excluded here, since this is noneMOAH contained.
The analysis results show that the manufacturers have become aware of the problem, because the calendars are designed so that contamination of the chocolatesv. a. WithMOAH is avoided by the cardboard packaging. However, other sources cannot be excluded with certainty.
The foundMOSHAccording to a toxicological assessment, the concentrations in the chocolates do not pose any health risk. TheMOAHFraction is suspected of containing carcinogenic substances, but due to the lack of toxicological data it is currently not possible to assess the actual risk potential.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) expects European consumers to be exposed to 0.03-0.3 mgMOSH per kg of body weight and day. Exposure toMOAH is about 20% based onMOSH, d. H. at 0.006-0.06 mgMOAH per kg body weight and day . TheMOSH- andMOAHThe contents found in the chocolates examined in 2016, as in the previous year, only make a very small contribution to the basic exposure of the consumer to mineral oil components, taking into account the usual amount consumed (one piece a day, 24 days a year). The Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also came to an analogous conclusion based on test results from the Stiftung Warentest .
The consumption of Advent calendar chocolate is based on the available results and findings in the opinion of theLGL no cause for concern.
In terms of food law, the contents are not objectionable. The results are communicated to the responsible district administration authorities with the request to inform the manufacturers about the results so that they can react to the determined contents in the course of preventive consumer protection and a minimization requirement for mineral oil contamination.