|MPOB STATEMENT ON 3-MCPD ESTERS|
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB) has noted the food safety issues on 3-MCPD ester and glycidol fatty acid esters in foods and refined edible oils.
The 3-MCPD ester has been reported to be found in all refined vegetable oils and fats. However, the method of analysis for 3-MCPD ester in vegetable oil is still being evaluated and has yet to be validated. MPOB has been actively developing methods using different derivatizing agents. Meanwhile, an evaluation carried out so far by a reputed European laboratory on behalf of MPOB has found that palm oil does not have the highest level of 3-MCPD esters, which contradicts the dearth of results reported by others. The reasons for the differences could be manifold, however, the difference in the method of analysis and the sampling of the oils analysed are the main issues.
The heath risk posed by MCPD esters is also ambiguous. It should also be noted that there is currently, no toxicological data on 3-MCPD ester and the BfR assessment has assumed that toxicologically relevant 3-MCPD is released from 3-MCPD ester during digestion. Tolerable daily intake (TDI) for 3-MCPD has been established at 2 µg/kg body weight and the same value was used for the assessment of 3-MCPD esters. Another assumption is that the metabolism of 3-MCPD ester is similar to that of dietary triacylglycerols (TAGs), forwarding the hypothesis that ingestion of (sn1)-monoester would result in the release of free 3-MCPD, while (sn2)-monoesters would be absorbed as such. MPOB will be collaborating with reputable research institute in determining the metabolism and toxicology of 3-MCPD ester in an animal model.
Regarding the issue on glycidol fatty acid esters, there was also an assumption that this compound is formed as an interim product of 3-MCPD esters during refining. However, there are no methods available to quantify glycidol or its esters to support this theory. Thus, standardized and agreed analytical methods are necessary. Toxicological studies were also not available to study the fate of glycidol esters in human digestive tract and to provide sufficient evidence for carcinogenicity studies.
MPOB has been following developments and has initiated its own research, as well as collaboration with several reputed research institutes in Europe on several issues to clarify, resolve and reduce the potential health risk from these compounds.
To fulfill this objective, MPOB has formulated the following research strategies:
N.D = Not Detected
LOD = 0.25 mg/kg, LOQ = 0.5 mg/kg
C) Based on refining studies (32 pilot plant trials, 200 kg batch) conducted at MPOB, the possible factors that contribute to the formation of 3-MCPD esters besides the deodorisation temperature, are as follows:
D) The level of 3-MCPD esters in the processed palm oil can be reduced if the following measures are taken:
For more information, kindly contact:
Internal Committee on 3-MCPD Ester