Need and challenges of MCPD and glycidyl ester analysis in home-processed food

Ian de Bus, PhD, Project Lead Organic Contaminants, Wageningen Food Safety Research (WFSR)

3-Monochloro-1,2-propanediol (3-MCPD) and glycidol are toxic organic contaminants classified as type 2B and type 2A carcinogens by IARC. Both compounds are regulated in edible oils and infant formulae according to the European Commission Regulation 2023/915 for.

Nonetheless, there are increasing concerns on the safety aspects of processed foods regarding the presence and/or formation of 3-MCPD esters or glycidyl esters. WFSR is hosting the National Reference Laboratory for processing contaminants and the official control laboratory in the Netherlands.

Apart from official monitoring WFSR performed several studies on 3-MCPDs and glycidyl esters in processed foods to evaluate the contaminant levels in home-processed foods.

Examples include a repeated frying experiment in sunflower oil, an at home-processing study of meat substitutes using pan frying and oven-baking, a bread baking trial, i.e. The examples showcase the need and challenges in 3-MCPD and especially glycidyl ester analysis in home-processed food. Especially, dirty oils and heavily processed foods potentially contain interfering compounds that can lead to difficulties in the analysis. Resulting, method development is constantly required to keep up with the analysis of new matrices on the market.