Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons (MOH) in Food
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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