Pyrrolizidine alkaloids

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are known to be highly toxic to humans, these are nitrogen containing compounds biosynthesised as secondary metabolites by different plant species. These substances were studied and the information on the tested includes hepatotoxicity, genotoxicity and carcinogenicity.
For this reason, the Commission requested EFSA for a dietary exposure assessment to pyrrolizidine alkaloids in honey, tea, herbal infusions (herbs) and food supplements.
NEOTRON has set up and validated an analytical method to monitor the 28 Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) listed in the EFSA publication 2015 (Table 1) and in the EMA document “Public statement on contamination of herbal medicinal products/traditional herbal medicinal products with pyrrolizidine alkaloids -Transitional recommendations for risk management and quality control (2016)”. In order to guarantee a quality control of these substances, Neotron has been developed an LC-MS/MS method.

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Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons (MOH) in Food – MOSH&MOAH

Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons (MOH) comprise a large group of mixtures of hydrocarbons containing thousands of chemical compounds of different structures and size, derived mainly from crude oil but also produced synthetically from coal, natural gas and biomass.

MOSH and MOAH are acronyms of a complex mixture of chemical compounds:

  • MOSH mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons
  • MOAH mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons

MOSH include open chain and cyclic hydrocarbons. POSH (polyolefin oligomeric saturated hydrocarbons) are another group of substances concerned by the characterisation of MOSH. POSH are oligomers of polyolefins.

MOAH are highly alkylated mono- and/or poly-aromatic hydrocarbons.

There are several possible sources of MOH contamination into food: mainly food packaging materials, food additives, processing aids and environmental contaminants such as lubricants. The contamination can occur both from raw materials and at various stages of food production, including transportation and storage.

On the basis of today’s information, the principal food matrices that might be affected by MOH contamination are: dry foods (e.g. flour, cereals, coffee, cocoa powder, milk powder), confectionery, fatty foods (including chocolate), oilseeds, tree nuts, vegetable oils and animal fats.

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PFASs in food

PFAS (perfluoroalkyl substances) are a large group of synthetic chemical compounds characterized by the replacement of most of the hydrogen atoms with fluorine atoms that gives them particular physical – chemical characteristics such as water and oil repellence and stability at high temperatures. Per – and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) are highly versatile and used in industrial and consumer
applications: are present in large quantities in the agricultural sector, in food packaging, in personal care products (cosmetics) , textiles and various consumer products.
The widespread use of these substances, together wi th their resistance to natural degradation processes, leads to a high degree of environmental contamination: they easily penetrate into the aquifers becoming widely present in the water environment and consequently in agricultural productsand  food.

Several studies have shown their danger to human health, in particular, they are recognized as endocrine disruptors capable of altering the body’s processes involving hormones responsible for development, fertility and other essential cellular functions.
Exposure can occur in various ways, including foods where these substances are most frequently present such as drinking water, fish, fruit, eggs and egg products or even through food packaging or equipment used for food processing.

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Published Commission Regulation (EC) 2020/685 of 20 May 2020 amending Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 as regards maximum levels of perchlorate in certain foods…

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Hydroxyanthracene derivatives

Published Commission Regulation (EU) 2021/468 of March 18, 2021 amending Annex III to Regulation (EC) No 1925/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards botanical species containing hydroxyanthracene derivatives. It shall apply from 8 April 2021…

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MCPD in food – Guide for the correct analytical approach in order to verify compliance with current legislation following the entry into force of Reg 1322/2020

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1881/2006 sets maximum levels for certain contaminants in foodstuffs. In the Annex to the Regulation maximum levels there were for 3-monochloropropanediol (3-MCPD) and glycidyl fatty acid esters
The EFSA CONTAM Panel established an updated group TDI of 2 μg/kg body weight per day for 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters. This TDI is not exceeded in the adult population. However, a slight exceedance of the TDI was observed in case of consumers of the younger age groups and in particular in case of infants receiving formula only.
Given the possible health concern for infants and young children, it has been appropriate to establish a stricter maximum level for vegetable oils and fats, destined for the production of baby food and of processed cereal-based food for infants and young children.
Also fish oil and oils from other marine organisms can contain high levels of glycidyl fatty acid esters and 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters. In order to ensure a high level of human health protection, it has been appropriate to establish a maximum level for glycidyl fatty acid esters and 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters in fish oil and oils from other marine organisms.

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Latest update: 24/05/2022 12:30:30