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New maximum levels for PFAS - bilacon supports you with a new method

Feb  3, 2023
3 min. read

Per- and polyfluorinated chemicals (PFAS) is a group of more than 10,000 substances that do not occur naturally. They are chemical compounds consisting of carbon chains, where the hydrogen atoms are exchanged by fluorine atoms. Either partially, i.e. polyfluorinated, or completely, i.e. perfluorinated.

PFAS are used in many products such as cosmetics, textiles and paper coatings due to their properties such as being dirt and water repellent.

PFAS, especially short-chain ones, are very persistent, can accumulate in various organisms and are introduced into food by various routes. According to EFSA, animal foods in particular are contaminated with PFAS. A 2020 EFSA statement recommends a tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 4.4 ng/kg body weight of the sum of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) and perfluorohexanesulfonic acid (PFHxS).

New maximum levels for PFAS in the EU

Since 01.01.2023, the new Regulation (EU) 2022/2388 with new maximum levels for PFAS in animal products is in force.

These are listed here:

Foodstuffs Maximum Levels μg/kg wet weight
10.1 Eggs 1,0 0,30 0,70 0,30 1,7
10.2 Fishery products and bivalve molluscs
10.2.1 Fish meat Muscle meat of fish, except those listed under and Muscle meat of fish listed in and, in case they are intended for the production of food for infants and young children 2,0 0,20 0,50 0,20 2,0 Muscle meat of the following fish, in case they are not intended for the production of food for infants and young children:
Baltic herring (Clupea harengus membras) Bonito (Sarda and Orcynopsis species) Burbot (Lota lota) European sprat (Sprattus sprattus) Flounder (Platichthys flesus and Glyptocephalus cynoglossus) Grey mullet (Mugil cephalus) Horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) Pike (Esox species) Plaice (Pleuronectes and Lepidopsetta species) Sardine and pilchard (Sardina species) Seabass (Dicentrarchus species) Sea catfish (Silurus and Pangasius species) Sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) Tench (Tinca tinca) Vendace (Coregonus albula and Coregonus vandesius) Silverly lightfish (Phosichthys argenteus) Wild salmon and wild trout (wild Salmo and Oncorhynchus species) Wolf fish (Anarhichas species)
7,0 1,0 2,5 0,20 8,0 Muscle meat of the following fish, in case they are not intended for the production of food for infants and young children: Anchovy (Engraulis species) Babel (Barbus barbus) Bream (Abramis species) Char (Salvelinus species) Eel (Anguilla species) Pike-perch (Sander species) Perch (Perca fluviatilis) Roach (Rutilus rutilus) Smelt (Osmerus species) Whitefish (Coregonus species) 35 8,0 8,0 1,5 45
10.2.2 Crustaceans 26, 47 and bivalve molluscs 26. For crustaceans the maximum level shall apply to muscle meat from appendages and abdomen 44. In case of crabs and crab-like crustaceans (Brachyura and Anomura) muscle meat from appendages. 3,0 0,70 1,0 1,5 5,0
10.3 Meat and edible offal
10.3.1 Meat of bovine animals, pig and poultry 0,30 0,80 0,20 0,20 1,3
10.3.2 Meat of sheep 1,0 0,20 0,20 0,20 1,6
10.3.3 Offal of bovine animals, sheep, pig and poultry 6,0 0,70 0,40 0,50 8,0
10.3.4 Meat of game animals, with the exception of bear meat 5,0 3,5 1,5 0,60 9,0
10.3.5 Offal of game animals, with the exception of bear offa 50 25 45 3,0 50

Food legally placed on the market before January 1, 2023, may remain on the market until its best-before or use-by date.


Major challenges for laboratories and manufacturers

The new maximum levels pose new challenges for many laboratories and manufacturers. Manufacturers and distributors have to carry out comprehensive self-monitoring and in some cases have to rethink their choice of raw materials. Not all laboratories can achieve the new maximum values using their methods.

bilacon in Berlin has developed a new method and thus achieves the low limits of determination by means of sensitive and state-of-the-art laboratory equipment.


The EU Commission has also published a recommendation on the monitoring of PFAS in fruit, vegetables, milk and baby food. Here you can find more information about the Commission's recommendation on monitoring PFAS.


Our experts will be happy to advise you personally regarding your products and requirements.


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Roy Sperling
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