Development and validation of analytical methods for the analysis of 3-MCPD (both in free and ester form) and glycidyl esters in various food matrices and performance of an ad-hoc survey on specific food groups in support to a scientific opinion on comprehensive risk assessment on the presence of 3-MCPD and glycidyl esters in food

MCPD esters, glycidyl esters, free MCPD, food
First published in EFSA Supporting Publications
17. März 2015
External Scientific Report

The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as author(s). This task has been carried out exclusively by the author(s) in the context of a service level agreement between the European Food Safety Authority and the author(s). The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It cannot be considered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European Food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.


3-Monochloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD), and 2-monochloropropane-1,3-diol (2-MCPD), are substances that might be generated in the processing of food. EU legislation specifies maximum levels for 3-MCPD in hydrolysed vegetable proteins and soya sauce. However, besides the free forms of 2- and 3-MCPD high levels of esterified MCPD forms were found in fats and oils. Another group of substances identified in fats and oils are glycidyl esters (GE). In order to provide reliable occurrence data on the levels of both bound and free forms of those substances, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) requested the Joint Research Centre (JRC) to develop suitable analysis methods and test the analysis methods on different kinds of food. Consequently two analytical methods were developed. One of the developed methods allows the determination of ester-bound analytes, whereas the other analysis method is suitable to determine free 2-MCPD and free 3-MCPD. Reliability of analysis results and robustness of the analysis methods were the main focus during method development and optimisation. The analytes were extracted with organic solvents under mild conditions. GEs are converted to monobromopropanediol esters (MBPD esters) prior to transesterification. MCPD esters and MBPD esters were transesterified followed by derivatisation of the analytes with phenyl boronic acid (PBA) in organic solvent. The PBA derivatives were measured by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS) applying stable isotope labelled analogues of the analytes for quantification. The performance of both analysis methods was compliant with criteria specified by EFSA. The analytical methods were applied for the analysis of breads and bread rolls, fine bakery wares, smoked fish and meat products, fried and roasted meat, potato-based snacks and fried potato products, cereal-based snacks, and margarines. Analysis results were compiled and reported to EFSA in standard sample description (SSD) format.

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