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New Benchmark Levels for Mineral Oil in Food

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Benchmark Levels and Toolbox Support Minimisation Strategies Along the Food Supply Chain

July 2019. In April 2019, representatives of German Food Control Authorities and the food industry developed "benchmark levels" for mineral oil hydrocarbon contents and their structural analogues. The aim is to support minimisation strategies for mineral oil along the food supply chain applying the benchmark levels and the previously created toolbox.

Food Categories with Benchmark Levels

Until now, benchmark levels have been established for a number of vegetable oils, a range of bakery and cereal products, and various confectionery and chocolate products. These are explicitly not maximum limits but statistical data to verify good manufacturing practice.


Due to the wide variety of sources of contamination, the benchmark levels also refer to MOSH analogues for the first time. These are all mineral oil-like hydrocarbons (MOSH including PAO, POSH and MORE) that can be analysed in a product, irrespective of the input sources. With regard to MOAH, the maximum limits of determination specified in the EU guideline for the range of C10–C50 are used as benchmark levels.

Analysis of Mineral Oil at Eurofins According to New EU Guideline

The Eurofins experts from the Competence Centre for Organic Contaminants have long-term experience with the analysis, evaluation and assessment of mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOSH, POSH, PAO, MOAH) in various food matrices by means of online-LC-GC-FID. The applied method complies with the requirements of the European guideline on sampling, analysis and data reporting for the monitoring of mineral oil hydrocarbons in food and food contact materials published in February 2019.

In addition to online-LC-GC-FID analysis of mineral oils in food, Eurofins also offers mass spectrometric characterisation of mineral oil contaminations to provide customers with additional support in identifying potential sources of contamination.

Any Questions on Analysis of Mineral Oils Left?

Visit our webpage Analysis of Mineral Oils (MOSH/POSH/MOAH), read our article "Monitoring of mineral oil in food" or contact our expert!