What Are Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons?

by Rahul G. Founder

Hydrocarbons of mineral oil (MOHs) are complex chemical blends. MOHs usually come from crude petroleum. They are primarily made up of hydrocarbons saturated with mineral oil (MOSH) and aromatic mineral oils (MOAH). MOSH consists of open, often rammed hydrocarbons and cyclic, saturated hydrocarbons (usually referred to as paraffin) (commonly named naphthene's). MOAH comprises aromatic monocarbons or polycyclic hydrocarbons. In general, Naphthene and MOAH are rather alkylated. The MOAH content can reach up to 35 per cent depending on crude oil source and refining.

How does MOAH/MOSH enter Food Products?

What are the known contaminant sources?

Mineral oils have a wide range of input pathways that span all stages of food production (raw materials, storage and transportation, production, and packaging materials). Adhesives, printer inks, and packaging materials - especially those made of recycled materials - are the main sources of MOSH/MOAH contamination. Machine and hydraulic oils used in the production and packaging of food are also sources.

Contamination may also be caused by the use of corrugated cardboard-lined transport containers or jute or sisal bags impregnated with oil containing mineral oil (batching oil). MOAH contamination in food comes from a variety of places: MOHs are used as additives in a variety of food contact materials (FCMs), such as plastics, adhesives, rubber utensils, jute and sisal fibres, wax paper and board, and printing inks.

MOHs, e.g., lubricants and defoam, cleaning agents, and non-stick agents, are applied in the processing of food and/or FCMs. MOHs in food can also be found in the environment and in packaging that has been contaminated unintentionally. MOHs, which are primarily derived from mineral-oil-based, non-food grade newspaper inks, are found in high concentrations in food packaging made of recycled paper and board.

The frequent detection of high MOH levels in packaging materials made of recycled paper and board initiates a discussion on how to reduce these contaminations. Recycled paper and board are generally not made of FCM-grade materials. Newspapers, journals and other kinds of paper that are recycled contain e.g., mineral-oil-based printing inks, adhesives, coatings, additives, and contaminants from previous uses. The replacement of mineral-oil-based printing inks would be the first step to reduce the load of MOHs in recycled paper and board in a long-term view. Internal bags or barrier layers are already broadly applied to reduce migration of MOHs from recycled paper and board into the food.

What Foods are affected?

Dry foods with broad surface areas, such as flour, grit, rice, coffee, cocoa, milk powder, spices, bread crumbs, and breakfast cereals, are among the foods affected, according to current information. Because of their lipophilic properties, oils and fats like palm oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, rapeseed oil, and cocoa butter, as well as coconut milk, chocolate, fatty candy, butter, and vegetable fats, are prone to contamination with MOSH/MOAH.

What are the health hazards associated with MOSH/MOAH?

Some MOSH fraction short-chain saturated hydrocarbons have been found to accumulate in various body organs. Animal studies have shown that the liver and lymph nodes are damaged. A variety of alkylated aromatic hydrocarbons in the MOAH fraction are carcinogenic, including some polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, for example (PAHs). It's difficult to make a definitive toxicological evaluation of MOSH and MOAH due to the complexities of carbon blends and a lack of scientific evidence.

How is MOAH/MOSH analysed?

The substance to be examined (food or packaging) is crushed and homogenised, and the components to be examined are removed, both using cutting-edge technology. This can be accompanied by a purification process (e.g., with activated aluminium oxide, epoxidation) depending on the sample matrix. Chromatographic solid-phase extraction is used to isolate the MOSH and MOAH fractions. GC-FID (gas chromatography-flame ionisation detection) with large volume on-column injection is used for quantitative research. Owing to a large number of chemical compounds in both fractions, GC-FID cannot be used to analyse individual components.

To characterise substance groups and to prevent oil contamination - this method can differentiate MOSH from POSH, capture fingerprints of traditional mineral oils, and classify natural hydrocarbons of biogenic origin, such as terpenes.

Which Analytic Method do we use?

The method of analysis has been approved.

The analysis is carried out using an automated, online coupled liquid chromatography gas chromatography (LC-GC) and linked flame ionisation detection system after sample preparation (FID). By purifying the extracts and fractionating them into the MOSH or MOAH fractions, the LC serves as a preparative stage. Not only that, Lab go has been offering a modified CEN (DIN EN 16995) approach as an extension to the MOSH and MOAH research in vegetable fats, oils, and fatty foods since its establishment.

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About Rahul G. Innovator     Founder

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Joined APSense since, August 2nd, 2019, From New Delhi, India.

Created on Sep 28th 2021 05:41. Viewed 196 times.


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