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Keywords:

  • 3-MCPD;
  • Glycidol;
  • Glycidol fatty acid esters;
  • Risk assessment;
  • Toxicity

Abstract

Fatty acid esters of 3-chloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD) and glycidol are a newly identified class of food process contaminants. They are widespread in refined vegetable oils and fats and have been detected in vegetable fat-containing products, including infant formulas. There are no toxicological data available yet on the 3-MCPD and glycidol esters, and the primary toxicological concern is based on the potential release of 3-MCPD or glycidol from the parent esters by lipase-catalyzed hydrolysis in the gastrointestinal tract. Although 3-MCPD is assessed as a nongenotoxic carcinogen with a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 2 μg/kg body weight (bw), glycidol is a known genotoxic carcinogen, which induces tumors in numerous organs of rodents. The initial exposure estimates, conducted by Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) under the assumption that 100% of the 3-MPCD and glycidol are released from their esters, revealed especially that infants being fed commercial infant formula could ingest harmful amounts of 3-MCPD and glycidol. However, the real oral bioavailability may be lower. As this gives rise for toxicological concern, the currently available toxicological data of 3-MCPD and glycidol and their esters are summarized in this review and discussed with regard to data gaps and further research needs.