In anticipation of future EU legislation, vegetable oils and fats producer Bunge Loders Croklaan (BLC) has converted its entire palm oil food portfolio to have low 3-MCPDE levels.

In a scientific opinion earlier in the year, the European Food Safety Authority expressed its concerns over the presence of 3-monochloropropane diol esters (3-MCPDEs) and glycidyl esters (GEs) in refined vegetable oils and fats, BLC said on 28 August.

In March 2018, the EU set a regulation limiting GE content in foods to less than 1ppm and similar legislation on 3-MCPDE content was expected in the near future, although no exact date could be foreseen.

Ahead of the upcoming regulation, BLC vice president for Europe Holger Riemensperger said the company had begun supplying fully mitigated palm oil and palm derivatives on a large scale.

“We can deliver out entire food portfolio not only with low GE levels (<1ppm) but also with low 3-MCPDE levels (<2ppm). These levels are in line with the discussion paper developed by the EU Commission in June 2016,” said Riemensperger.

In an updated scientific opinion published on 10 January, the EFSA raised the safe level of daily 3-MCPD intake from 0.8μg/kg of body weight to 2μg/kg of body weight, two-and-a-half times its previous limit but still only half of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) tolerable limit of 4μg/kg of body weight.

GEs and 3-MCPDEs are chemical compounds formed unintentionally during the refining process used in the production of vegetable oils, particularly palm oil.