R+D |

Low MOH levels: a safe bet

For LIPSA, food safety has always been the focus of all the products we supply, which is why when approximately 1 year ago the alarm was raised in the food industry due to the presence of hydrocarbon residues, MOSH and MOAH, in oils and fats, we already had several years of experience in mitigating similar contaminants, especially for the industry that manufactures infant formula.

Mitigating the presence of contaminants in oils is a process that requires the implication of the entire production chain.On the one hand, we had to review the extraction and processing methods of crude oils at the source, reviewing our supply chain and aligning our commitment with that of our suppliers.

Having the advantage of being an independent company allows us to react and take action much faster than our competitors. And the fact that we are not integrated and have access to suppliers from all over the world allows us to diversify our purchases and select the best suppliers from a global network.

On the other hand, at the factory we had to learn how to segregate raw materials and process them to prevent the formation of contaminants as much as possible. With the involvement of all the teams and the reorganization of the supply chain, we have managed to mitigate the contaminants to levels far below market expectations.

But what do we mean by MOSH and MOAH?

These concepts fall under mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) which are a diverse group of hydrocarbons from crude oil containing a large number of chemical compounds varying in chain length (number of carbons) and structure.

They can be classified into two main types:

  • Mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH): these are linear and branched open chain alkanes (kerosenes) and broadly alkylated cycloalkanes (naphthenes).
  • Mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH): these are mainly alkylated (and to a lesser extent unalkylated) poly aromatic (closed chain) hydrocarbons.

The risks of contamination by contact depend on several factors such as: food properties, intensity and duration of food contact and temperature.

Why should we be concerned?

The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) published a scientific opinion in 2012 and a risk assessment in 2019 in which they conclude that these contaminants are a threat to human health as some MOAH can affect reproduction and even cause cancer, while some MOSH can accumulate in human tissues and cause adverse effects on the liver.

In addition, in recent years several consumer organizations have published articles denouncing the presence of mineral oils in some foods such as baby bars, chocolate, infant milks, etc.

What does LIPSA do and what products does it offer low in MOAH?

LIPSA initiated in 2018 in collaboration with Fediol, the monitoring of MOH in oils and fats to minimize their presence in refined oils and fats. This has taken the form of:

1-Risk mitigation: prevention of MOH contamination during refining

  • Mapping of LIPSA’s facilities, identifying each point where MOH contamination may occur during the refining operation and implementing measures accordingly.
  • Careful selection of lubricating oils to be used at each point in our facilities.

2-Exhaustive analysis, selection and close collaboration with suppliers.

  • Visits for auditing of plantations and oil extractors.
  • Cooperation with strategic suppliers to achieve their commitment to reduce MOH levels.
  • Long-term agreements to ensure safe and regular access to low MOH oil.

3-Segregation of low MOH oils throughout the supply chain (from crude sourcing to refining delivery to customer).

4-Regular supply of low MOH oils (or blends) to numerous key players in the food and baby food sectors.

To date we can say that we have met and exceeded market expectations. We have set minimum limits on contaminants for the sector, achieving results far below our competitors. We are currently able to offer all our oils with the lowest levels of MOSH and MOAH but Our work in mitigating contaminants is not over yet and we would like to continue reducing their presence to undetectable limits.

If you also want to offer the best products to your customers and reduce the risk of contamination of your products with mineral oils, please contact our team!