The Malaysian Palm Oil Council gathered expert panelists to participate in a webinar about contaminants formed during edible oil processing, such as 3-MCPD, and advancements in mitigation.  The webinar, moderated by MPOC Science and Environmental Division Director Ruslan Abdullah, Ph.D., included panelists representing the biotechnology company Sumwin, the Oil and Fats Union of Russia and Malaysia’s Association of Enterprises of Confectionary Industry. 

The chemical 3-MCPD and related substances called 3-MCPD esters, along with glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE), are food processing contaminants found in some processed foods and vegetable oils, mainly palm oil. 3-MCPD and its esters are formed unintentionally in these foods. 

Abdullah reiterated that consumers have the right to foods within safety limits, explaining that some compounds have only recently been detected due to more sophisticated testing methods. He called for the need of balance between removing or reducing contaminants without increasing costs. 

There has been intensive work on ways to further reduce levels of MCPD esters in refined vegetable oils and fats. Palm oil producers, especially in Malaysia, have been actively implementing mitigation solutions for the reduction of glycidyl esters (GE) levels across all vegetable oils destined for food use. 

Sumwin has introduced a patented 3-MCPD and glycidyl mitigation process. This extraction process uses additive-free water, and there is virtually no oil loss, making it an environmentally friendly process. With no moving parts, the extractor itself is practically maintenance free.

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