3-Monochloropropane-1,2 Diol Esters (3-MCPD)
3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD) is a contaminant which occurs through food processing and was first detected in various foods such as hydrolysed vegetable proteins and soy sauce. It is formed in foods containing fat and salt when they are exposed to high temperatures during production. Studies have linked 3-MCPD with infertility in rats, suppression of the immune function and possible carcinogenicity. In 2001, the EU’s former Scientific Committee on Food established a Tolerable Daily Intake of 2 μg/kg body weight for 3-MCPD and a maximum concentration level of 20 µg/kg has been specified in EU legislation for 3-MCPD in hydrolysed vegetable proteins and soy sauce.
In December 2007, the presence of fatty esters of 3-MCPD (3-MCPD esters) was reported for the first time in a number of foodstuffs including refined edible fats, such as margarine and oils, as well as infant formula and breast milk. Since 3-MCPD can be released from the esters, the presence of 3-MCPD esters should be addressed. While there are a number of toxicological animal studies on 3-MCPD, little is known about the occurrence, toxicokinetics or toxicity of 3-MCPD esters. This data is needed to assess the possible risks to human health.
Following a request from the European Commission, EFSA adopted a statement in March 2008 that underlined the need for further studies on the toxicity and toxicokinetics of 3-MPCD esters.
- Statement of the Scientific Panel on Contaminants in the Food chain (CONTAM) on a request from the European Commission related to 3-MCPD esters
Objectives of the 3-MCPD esters (and related esters) knowledge database
The 3-MCPD esters knowledge database aims to serve as a platform for sharing information on research activities. This information can be used to promote awareness of progress being made on research into 3-MCPD esters and related compounds within Europe and possibly also at an international level, as well as helping to ensure that effective and complementary progress is made. EFSA will regularly update the database with all input received.
Submit data for the 3-MCPD esters (and related esters) knowledge database
Research institutes, industries and any other parties that carry out or commission research projects in one of the following ten study areas are invited to submit or update research projects at any time by filling in one (or several) of the respective forms below.
Data submissions should be sent to
Dr. Luisa Ramos Bordajandi
Unit on Contaminants,
European Food Safety Authority