Updated guidance values for mineral oil hydrocarbons in foodstuffs

There are no legally binding national or European maximum levels for mineral oil hydrocarbons in food. In 2019, orientation values for mineral oils in food, which were developed by the Länderarbeitsgemeinschaft Verbraucherschutz (LAV) together with the Lebensmittelverband Deutschland e.V., were published for the first time.

Last year, these values were extended by four new product groups (see table). The values are orientation values which serve to verify compliance with good manufacturing practice.

Food product group MOSH and
MOAH [mg/kg] C10-C50 Notes

Desserts (ready-to-eat) and ice cream (*excepted)

*Ice cream with fat-based
coatings, glazes and couvertures
(whether or not in pieces on / in
ice cream, on / in wafers)






Meat, meat preparations and
meat products
(including sausages)



not for firm raw sausages with
cheese, with cheese or pepper
coatings; not for meat preparations
in oil-based marinades

Fish and fish products
(including canned fish
in aqueous  infusion/ own juice)



not for canned fish and fish products in
oil or oil-based sauces and dips;
not for crustaceans and molluscs
and products thereof

Milk and milk products
(such as cream, butter, yoghurt, cheese)
including preparations thereof

22 mg/kg   
milk fat

n.q.1, 2

assessment is made in all milk products
and preparations in relation to the
milk fat content, not for mixed fat

 n.q. - not quantifiable, i.e. contents < limit of quantification

1 LOQmax for MOAH total (cf. JRC Technical Report1) for low-fat foods < 4% fat corresponds to 0.5 mg/kg; for foods > 4% fat corresponds to 1 mg/kg
2 LOQmax for total MOAH (cf. JRC Technical Report1) for fats / oils corresponds to 2 mg/kg.

The analysis of mineral oil hydrocarbons is carried out at ifp using an HPLC-GC-FID method based on the BfR method of 2009 and DIN EN 16995. Various optimisation steps are carried out to enable differentiated analysis of the mineral oil hydrocarbons in the sample.

In addition, ifp offers a highly selective method for the validation of positive results and further characterisation of mineral oil constituents using GCxGC-ToF.

We will be happy to advise you.  Contact  us for more information.


Orientation values for mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) in food (Lebensmittelverband Deutschland e. V.; as of August 2021)