Get access

Fatty acid esters of chloropropanols and related compounds in food: Toxicological aspects



The presence of fatty acid esters of 3-monochloro-1,2-propanediol (3-MCPD esters) has been reported in various types of foods and food ingredients, especially in refined vegetable oils. More recently, it has been acknowledged that 3-MCPD esters are formed during processing together with a number of other structurally related and toxicologically relevant chemicals such as 2-monochloro-1,3-propanol esters (2-MCPD esters) and glycidyl esters. Although no evidence is available of any adverse effects of dietary exposure to these esters, the actual human health significance of these compounds is difficult to appreciate due to the lack of toxicological and exposure data. An indirect concern has been raised by the potential release of free chloropropanols (e.g., 3-MCPD, 2-MCPD) and glycidol resulting from the action of lipases, which may hydrolyze the esters in the gut.