Mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) in foods

Update of the recommended benchmark levels for MOH

- The recommended benchmark levels for mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) in foods are now available in an updated version. The update relates primarily to vegan and vegetarian products.
verschiedene Glaskolben und Petrischale
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The joint project under the leadership of the Food Federation Germany and Consumer Protection Consortium of the Federal States (LAV) / Working group on foodstuffs and consumer goods, wine and cosmetics (ALB) goes back to the resolution of the consumer protection minister conference in April 2017. Based on the knowledge gained since 2010 about the complex routes of entry of undesirable mineral oil components into the food process chains, a concept was coordinated to provide source-independent but product category-specific information on expected levels of MOSH and MOAH and thus to support minimization approaches in the very different processes in a target-oriented manner.

The project, which was realized in special cooperation between official food control and industry, is based to date on more than 16,500 individual data records from different food categories that have been compiled and evaluated. The data originates from voluntary self-monitoring as well as from investigations of the official food monitoring and is comparable to a national monitoring scheme in its informative value. The "benchmark levels" have been derived from the data pool in a pragmatic statistical process. For the first time, common recommendations for food group-specific "MOH benchmark levels", in conjunction with their definitions and interpretations, were published in April 2019.

This updated version of the "MOH benchmark levels" (as of September 2022) includes 9 food categories and has been expanded to include certain described vegan and vegetarian products. The version and extension developed in spring 2022 was approved by the federal states on the occasion of the last meeting of the ALB in September 2022. This successfully continues the project and extends the guidance values as reference bases for the assessment of MOSH and MOAH to a wide range of foods. The Food Federation and LAV jointly recommend the use of MOH benchmark levels to evaluate end-use products.