Food safety: Mineral oil traces found in Ferrero children's bars
The foodwatch consumer advocates have tested various sweets. They were able to detect traces of mineral oil in some products. Some of the substances found are suspected of causing cancer. According to the consumer protection organization, the popular product “Kinder-Riegel” from the food company “Ferrero” should also be affected. This result will cause turmoil for parents. Food experts criticize the low-threshold legal regulations. These should be tightened.
Mineral oil finds in food
Findings of mineral oil in food are reported again and again. In many cases they come from the printing inks in the waste paper packaging. The consumer organization Foodwatch has now also found traces of mineral oil in sweets from various manufacturers. According to a report by the news magazine "Spiegel", the organization speaks of a significant contamination with aromatic and saturated mineral oil hydrocarbons. According to “Spiegel” information, clear residues of these chemical compounds were found in the “Kinder-Riegel” of the Ferrero company and in “Sun Rice” chocolate hats, which are produced for Aldi.
Substances are classified as carcinogenic
Mineral oils are used in the food industry, for example, as lubricants for machines or in packaging. “The mineral oils detectable in food are divided into two groups: the aromatic mineral oils (MOAH) and the saturated mineral oils (MOSH). The former are particularly dangerous. They are suspected of being carcinogenic and mutagenic as well as influencing the hormone system, ”explains foodwatch on his website. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) generally regards the intake of MOAH (Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons) in food as questionable. And even according to the assessment of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) "there should be no detectable transition from MOAH to food".
Politics are in demand
“The problem has been known for years, but politics has not yet responded to it. The solution would be so simple: The European Union must prescribe the use of suitable barrier layers for waste paper packaging and set strict limit values for mineral oil in food, ”the experts at foodwatch write elsewhere. According to the “Spiegel”, manufacturers and retailers have been working for years to ban the substances from the entire value chain.
Aldi Süd, for example, has therefore urged its suppliers to identify all sources of contamination and to only use mineral oil-free production resources. Lidl is said to have similar requirements for the suppliers. The manufacturers concerned have not yet commented. According to the information, the industry association informed the news magazine that they are working intensively on minimization.
Mineral oil residues also in cosmetic products
Consumer advocates, health authorities and the Stiftung Warentest had repeatedly found mineral oil residues in chocolate in recent years, for example in Advent calendars or in chocolate Easter bunnies. A few months ago, discoveries of mineral oil in lip care had also been reported. (ad)