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Toolbox on Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons and Food Published

Sandwiches in plastic packaging

The German Federation of Food Law and Food Science’s (BLL) has introduced a “Toolbox for Preventing the Transfer of Undesired Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons into Food.” The toolbox aims to reduce preventable contamination with mineral oil as much as possible and to identify approaches that aim to reduce the amount of mineral oil contaminants in food.

The toolbox divides the routes of entry into three categories:

  • Migration (e.g., transfer from direct or indirect packaging composed of recycled fibre or mineral oil containing printing inks),
  • Contamination possible along the entire value chain for food or food packaging (e.g., packaging materials for raw materials, improper use of machine oils or lubricants), and
  • Food additives and processing aids (e.g., white oils used as food additives and processing aids or waxes and paraffins used as brighteners, anti-caking, anti-foaming, edible glazing or release agents).

The Toolbox is structured in accordance with the potential routes of entry. It sets out 32 approaches to tackle migration and contamination with mineral oil, which vary depending on the source and route of entry into the food of the mineral oil.  It also details potential routes of entry of mineral oil into food products from food additives and processing aids, but does not aim to replace or eliminate technologically required food additives or processing aids.

 A copy of the toolbox is available here