The rise in 3-MCPD in Malaysian palm oil is attributed to adulteration of production oil with hazardous waste constituents due to changes in extraction process at palm oil mills over the years by ways of:
- Recycling steriliser condensate into the production oil process to recover its constituent residual oil.
- Recycling empty fruit bunch pressed liquor into the production oil process to recover its constituent residual oil.
3-MCPD levels found in refined palm oil and palm fats are the highest in crude palm oil sourced from Malaysia. While it is known that several other refined food oils contain traces of the contaminant, Malaysian palm oil contains 3 to 14 mg/kg, which is up to 14 times higher than the maximum save level set by the European Food Safety Authority.
Interestingly, it was recently (May 2017) reported that “As Malaysia steps into the second century of commercial oil palm planting, … the challenges facing the industry will only continue to intensify.” Industry captains were quoted as saying that “In order to face the increasing demands on the industry, Malaysia needs to work towards creating a distinguished Malaysian brand for palm oil, which will be accepted as the preferred choice by global customers.”
The above statements come in the face of the industry grappling with allegations of cancer health concerns due to the use of palm oil in food products, for example, Nutella. The allegation was related to the occurrence of 3-monochloropropanediol (3-MCPD) and Glycidyl fatty acid esters (GE) in palm oil. Should we be worried? Continue reading “How Cancer causing substances crept into food products containing palm oil?”