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Sunflower oil: popular and contaminated

Sunflower oil is used in almost every kitchen: for cooking, frying and baking, because the vegetable oil has a mild aroma and is so versatile. But 21 different oils were recently tested and showed elevated levels of mineral oil components and PAHs.


Mineral oil components slightly elevated in 20 samples


In a test, mineral oil hydrocarbons, also known as MOSH/MOAH, were detected in all sunflower oils. MOSH can accumulate in organs and MOAH can be carcinogenic. Currently, there are no limit values for mineral oil hydrocarbons, but a corresponding regulation is already being worked on. The test portal classified the values in 20 of the 21 samples tested as slightly elevated.


PAHs were detected in two samples


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs for short, were found in two of the sunflower oils tested. More precisely, benzo(a)pyrene, which belongs to the group of PAHs, was found. It is carcinogenic and mutagenic and can get into food via smoke, in this case possibly during the drying of sunflower seeds.

According to Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006, the maximum level for benzo(a)pyrene in vegetable oil for human consumption is 2.0 µg/kg.


And what does sunflower oil taste like?


Refined sunflower oils should smell and taste neutral. Cold-pressed ones typically smell and taste sappy, pithy, woody and nutty. However, in two oils tested, the samples smelled and tasted slightly chemical and pungent. This should not be so and can be revealed by sensory testing. In turn, manufacturers can initiate possible improvement steps or research the cause.


bilacon is your reliable partner


To ensure that your sunflower oil is only popular and not contaminated, bilacon supports you in analysing your products. We test them for mineral oil components, PAHs and evaluate the sensory properties. In addition, we provide consulting services and offer you the complete range of analyses for vegetable oils.


Would you like to learn more about our services? Contact our expert directly, we will be happy to help you:


Roy Sperling
+49 30 206 038 320

Source: Ökotest

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