The new challenge of reducing 3-MCPD and GE levels in vegetable oils is an important global debate that is affecting food industry and oil refiners worldwide.
In Europe, EFSA’s expert panel on contaminants first assessed the potential risks of 3-MCPD together with another food processing contaminant called glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE) in 2016. The Agency consequently set the accepted levels of processing contaminants in vegetable oils for human consumption, updating 3-MCPD levels in 2018.
Today, the implementation of mitigation technologies on behalf of the processing industry is not only a need but also a requirement that will probably lead to more and more stringent parameters in the future. The new regulations that will be adopted are likely to affect palm oil industry in particular because of the high concentration of 3-MCPD and GE in this type of oil. Considering that palm oil is the most used oil in food industry and that it also already suffers from the ban imposed in the EU because of its unsustainability – technological improvements toward a drastic reduction of processing contaminants seems to be absolutely necessary in order to avoid, in the near future, serious economic damages in palm oil producing countries.