In the past few months, mineral oils MOSH and MOAH have been detected on several foodstuffs, making high profile news stories.
Mineral oil contamination in food can have different sources, such as:
– contamination from the environment, transportation and production processes
– voluntary use of mineral oil as a food additive or as a processing aid
– from materials in food contact (packaging made from recycled paper and board, or mineral-oil-based printing inks)
In this context in July 2017, Phytocontrol launched of a new analytical method for mineral oils (MOSH/MOAH).

The method, developed in the laboratory, is realised by LC/GC/FID. It allows the detection of MOSH/POSH and MOAH from C10 to C35 with quantification limits of 0.2 to 1mg/kg in wine, edible oils, cereal products and sugars.

To date, no limits was established in the European regulation. However, the Belgian Food Authority (FASFC) established the thresholds for mineral oil contamination in certain foodstuffs in its legal notice 19-2017.


Below, maximum levels of MOSH (C16 to C35) in edible foods:

– Dairy products: 5mg/kg
– Fruits and fruit-based products: 10mg/kg
– Compound foodstuffs (including frozen products): 10mg/kg
– Cereals and cereals products: 15mg/kg
– Vegetables and plant products: 20mg/kg
– Starchy roots or tubers: 20mg/kg
– Snacks, desserts and others: 20mg/kg
– Meat and meat products: 30mg/kg
– Sugar and sweets: 30mg/kg
– Fish and seafood products: 60mg/kg
– Herbs and spices: 70mg/kg
– Animal and vegetable fats and oils: 100mg/kg
– Oilseeds, pulse crops and nuts: 150mg/kg
– Eggs and egg products: 150mg/kg


Regarding the MOAH, no limits was established by the FASFC due to the lack of toxicity data. It is recommended, nevertheless, to use the BFR limits of 0,5 mg/kg food for MOAH C16-C35.

Below, you will find the complete AFSCA notice:

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have regarding technical, regulatory or tariffs information.