Combatting Chemical Risks during Oil Processing
The production of vegetable oils and their respective secondary products is a complex and challenging process. Product quality, homogeneity and purity depend on a multitude of parameters. Although the production of vegetable oils and fats is a well-established and controlled process, two problematic by-products, namely 3-monochloro-propane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD) and 2,3-epoxypropanol (glycidol) are formed during the refining process. 3-MCPD and glycidol are highly suspected to be carcinogenic and genotoxic in humans. Therefore, great efforts to optimize the refining process for a minimal 3-MCPD and glycidol formation have already been made. However, knowledge about detailed mechanisms and possible influence of raw material parameters on 3-MCPD formation is still lacking.
Thus, one important research focus within the value chain of vegetable oils and products thereof is the evaluation of various raw oil and pressing parameters to avoid the formation of these undesired compounds in edible oils. Precisely, the influence of raw oil, pressing and seed parameters on 3-MCPD and Glycidol ester formation is investigated by refining oil samples on a laboratory scale with constant refining parameters and varying oil parameters, and subsequent contaminant analysis by GC/MS.
This research work is performed within the Austrian Competence Centre for Feed and Food Quality, Safety and Innovation (FFoQSI). The COMET-K1 centre FFoQSI is funded by the Austrian ministries BMVIT, BMDW and the Austrian provinces Niederoesterreich, Upper Austria and Vienna within the scope of COMET - Competence Centers for Excellent Technologies. The programme COMET is handled by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG.