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Are chloropropanols and glycidyl fatty acid esters a matter of concern in palm oil?

Albuquerque, Tânia Gonçalves, Costa, Helena S., Silva, Mafalda Alexandra, Oliveira, M. Beatriz P.P.
Trends in food science & technology 2019
European Union, attitudes and opinions, chlorides, chromatography, deodorization, diacylglycerols, food industry, food matrix, foods, frying, laws and regulations, mass spectrometry, mutagens, public health, refining, temperature, toxicity, vegetable oil
Palm oil is the most consumed worldwide, being evident its importance due to several applications by the food industry. The presence of toxic and mutagenic compounds, such as chloropropanols and glycidyl fatty acid esters has increased the attention on this oil. Very recently, there have been several alerts about the safety of certain foods containing palm oil in their composition. Consequently, the European Commission has demanded the evaluation of these hazardous compounds in several food matrices, including palm oil, turning this issue into a public health concern.This review focuses on chloropropanols and glycidyl fatty acid esters in palm oil, their precursors, occurrence and mitigation strategies, as well as scientific opinions, current legislation and analytical approaches.Liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry detection is preferred in the analysis of chloropropanols and glycidyl esters in palm oil. Concerning the precursors, the presence of chlorides and mono- and diglycerides is related to high amounts of these compounds, especially glycidyl esters. Several differences in the occurrence of these compounds in palm oil were reported, namely in what concerns to applied processing (refining/deodorization conditions; temperature/time of frying in the presence or absence of food). There is still much work to be done to implement efficient mitigation strategies without compromising the safety of palm oil. Furthermore, regarding the maximum levels in foodstuffs, European Commission is finalising the new EU legislation which will include values for the maximum levels of glycidyl fatty acid esters in vegetable oils.