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Analysis of ethylene oxide in Rotterdam

The number of recalls for products in which ethylene oxide residues and 2-chloroethanol are detected is increasing every day. In 2020, residues were found in sesame and sesame products, and now ethylene oxide is being detected in locust bean gum, xanthan gum and thickeners.

Ethylene oxide is a gaseous disinfectant used to kill fungi and bacteria. According to a health assessment by the BfR, ethylene oxide is considered “mutagenic and carcinogenic.” Therefore, it is forbidden to use it in the EU. But in third countries, containers are often fumigated with ethylene oxide.

In the EU, food business operators are responsible for having their products checked for residues as part of their own inspections. According to Regulation (EC) No. 396/2005, the maximum residue levels are between 0.01 mg/kg and 0.1 mg/kg, depending on the matrix.


The laboratory bilacon GmbH has established the analysis of ethylene oxide as well as 2-chloroethanol, the conversion product of ethylene oxide, also at their site in Rotterdam. The limit of determination is 0.01 mg/kg. Depending on customer requirements, turnaround times of:

  • 3-5 working days
  • 1-2 working days
  • 12 hours

can be offered.


Our bilacon team in Rotterdam supports you


Globalization poses challenges to food business operators – including fumigants that are not approved in the EU. The bilacon team in Rotterdam supports you from now on in the detection of ethylene oxide and 2-chloroethanol in your products and is at your disposal for advice.


If you have any questions about our service, please do not hesitate to contact us. Our expert will be pleased to help you.


Oscar Koch

Phone: +31 615146587 / +31 611438406

bilacon GmbH

Brielselaan 69

3081 AA Rotterdam

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