Workshop on MCPD- and Glycidyl Esters in Food Products

Brussels, Belgium
09/11/2011 – 10/11/2011


Following the discovery and confirmation of relatively large amounts of 3-MCPD-esters in foods and food ingredients, a workshop was organized by ILSI-Europe in February 2009, in order to review all available data relevant for risk assessment. Significant knowledge gaps and research needs were identified. Recommendations on how best to address issues related to 3-MCPD esters and related compounds, i.e. 2-MCPD–esters and glycidyl-esters, in foods were formulated. This workshop triggered widespread activities on analytical challenges (including formation, occurrence), mitigation and toxicology (sub-chronic toxicity and biokinetics of 3-MCPD-esters). It was decided to follow these scientific developments through a shared activity between the ILSI-Europe Process Related and Natural Toxins and the Risk Assessment of Chemicals in Food task forces. A review of the progress was planned in the form of a second workshop to be held in 2011.

Preliminary contacts with stakeholders and investigators indicated that a workshop in 2011 was too early to expect new breakthrough information on toxicology. At the same time, significant progress was made in the development of analytical methods, including the direct analysis of glycidol and its esters in similar products as MCPDs and their esters. An ILSI-expert group initiated a critical review of these methods in the context of their performance and applicability to address key issues such as occurrence in food, mechanism of formation, mitigation and toxicology. It is currently considered that several important analytical challenges encountered earlier could now be resolved. In addition, new information on mechanisms of formation together with evidence of possible application in mitigation approaches are emerging. In this context, it was decided to focus the second workshop mainly on analytics and mitigation.

For that purpose, the expert group was preparing a working document targeting the following topics:

  1. Occurrence and exposure, including an inventory and review of analytical methods
  2. Analytical tools to study precursors and chemical formation mechanisms
  3. Analytics for toxicology

The outline of the document was presented during the workshop and discussed over the working group discussions.


The objectives of this workshop were:

  • To review the work document developed by the ILSI Europe expert group on analytical methods, with a particular emphasis on their validity to address key issues such as risk assessment and verification of mitigation.
  • To clarify conclusions, identify remaining issues and define further research needs in dedicated working groups.
  • To communicate the outcome to the relevant stakeholders.


The draft working document, which was reviewed in the workshop, resulted in two publications in Food Additives and Contaminants. In addition, a short summary of the workshop was published as a short communication in the ILSI Europe newsletter.


To download the programme, click here.


Understanding of MCPD and Glycidyl Esters in food: feedback from previous workshop and objectives of current workshop
G. Eisenbrand, University of Klaiserlautern, DE

Indirect methods for the Analysis of MCPD and Glycidyl Esters: A Critical Overview
K. Hrncirik, Unilever, NL

Direct determination of Glycidyl Esters and 3-MCPD esters
T. Wenzl, European Commission, BE

Occurrence in foods & resulting exposure
C. Crews, FERA, UK

Analytics in biological samples
E. Apel, Fraunhofer Item, DE
(not available)

Mitigation: the FEI project
B. Matthaüs, Max Rubner-Institute, DE

MCPD and Glycidyl Esters in Palm Oil: Mechanisms of formation and opportunities for mitigation
B. Craft, Nestlé, CH
(not available)

Mitigation: impact of agricultural practices
I. Berg, Sime Darby Unimills, NL

Mitigation strategies for 3-MCPD and Glycidyl esters in food applications
N. Hinrichsen, ADM, NL

Biokinetics studies on 3-MCPD fatty acid esters and Glycidyl fatty acid esters
A. Lampen, Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, DE
(not available)

Comparison between 3-MCPD and its palmitic esters in a 90-day toxicological study
A. Mutti, Università degli Studi di Parma, IT


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