With a policy of the European Union limiting the level of two food contaminants in oils and fats — 3-MCPD esters and glycidyl esters (GE) — set to take effect next year, the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (COPC) is organizing a forum to prepare industries for that move.
“The reduction of 3-MCPD esters and GE is a high priority for the oils and fats industry,” CPOPC said in a document forwarded to The Palm Scribe. The European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) has concluded that 3-MCPD posed a potential health concern among high consumers in younger age groups while GE are a concern for public health because they are genotoxic and carcinogenic.
The one-day forum to be held in Jakarta next month according to the organizers, will provide a platform for sharing of information and lessons-learned on works currently being undertaken to mitigate the formation of the two esters through the supply chain industries.
“Participants will have the opportunity to identify the most effective and cost-efficient technologies to further reduce 3-MCPD and GE levels in various stages of palm oil production from upstream, midstream and downstream,” the CPOPC said.
The forum that will be held at the Grand Sahid Jaya Hotel in Jakarta on February 7, 2020, will also present a business matching meeting with successful technology providers and participants would be able to engage in a one-to-one session with the company of their choice. A total of eight Technology Providers of international reputation will be invited to share their expertise and technologies on how to mitigate the formation of 3-MCPD and GE and to ultimately meet market requirements.
In February 2018, the European Union (EU) enacted Regulation (EU) 2018/290, which sets a ceiling for maximum limits for GEs in edible oils and fats at 1,000 μg/kg. The EU is now proposing imposing a similar ceiling for 3-MCPD levels in oils and fats that will, if approved, come into forces on January 1, 2020. For 3-MCPD, two ceilings are proposed for vegetable oils and fish oils — 1,250 μg/kg for unrefined and refined oils and fats from rapeseed, sunflower, soybean, maize, olives coconut, and palm kernel and mixtures of oils and fats from this category; and 2,500 μg/kg for others including palm oil.
CPOPC is of the view that the 2,500 μg/kg or 2.5 ppm level should be adopted as the acceptable safety limit for consumption. “The industry needs to be prepared to produce palm oil and palm products for foods uses to meet the level of 2,500 μg/kg of 3- MCPD within the one-year time-frame as per the EU proposal,” the CPOPC said in the document.
The forum is expected to be attended by industry players engaged in oil palm, palm oil and its products and also other from oil and fat industries, including R&D personnel, planters, millers, refiners, manufacturers, traders, exporters, economists, policy makers, academics, financial institutions, students, and other concerned members of the public.
The forum will be opened by Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto. The discussions on 3-MCPD and GE will not only provide insights into those food contaminants but also the various ways they could be mitigated.
Participants will also hear about the EU food industry requirements in respect to food safety as well as why it was important to improve the quality of Crude Palm Oil (CPO), including by reducing the levels of its contaminants.