There have been a lot of changes to the EN 16995:2017 within the last couple of years — mainly dealing with detection limits and standardization of the methods.
In 2023, a big topic is the approach to make the results more comparable. Depending on the matrix, different analytical technologies such as LC-GC-FID or GC x GC-MS are used to detect and quantify the different fractions of MOSH and MOAH. While detection with FID (flame ionization detector) leads to a sum parameter, the analysis with GC x GC allows the differentiation of different amounts of rings in the MOAH fraction. The MOAH (mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons) fraction in general is the more harmful fraction for humans. In addition, new epoxidation cleanup steps have been developed.
MOSH/MOAH in the news
A new MOSH/MOAH case has made it into the news. In addition to mold toxins, mineral oils pose a concern warranting testing. Laboratory analysis — published by the German magazine “Ökotest” — showed slightly elevated mineral oil components in corn stick snack samples.
The saturated mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOSH) can accumulate in human fatty tissue, lymph nodes and organs such as the spleen, liver, and lungs. Of great concern is that corn sticks are not only eaten by adults, but also by infants. The limits for infant formulas are much lower than those for adults.
As discussed above, it is necessary to determine the content of MOSH and especially MOAH because of its toxicity. Depending on the matrix — in this case a solid — a sample preparation method must be chosen. For an oil matrix it is more important to remove the fats, but there are many more options to consider. There are different methods available that are matrix dependent. To get an overview of the fully automated workflow for MOSH/MOAH utilizing LC-GC, read this application note from Thermo Fisher.
Why should I use a fully automated workflow?
You should you use a fully automated workflow for the following reasons:
- Some people are still performing manual sample preparation. There are a lot of steps involved and all can be prone to human errors. Have you experienced this in your lab? Take a look at our fully automated solution with the Thermo Scientific RSH SMART autosampler including saponification and epoxidation as well as Aluox cleanup fully automated.
- Take a look at this Analyte Guru blog post including a video where the system is explained.
- Are you still using up to four different software platforms for your complete process? If so, upgrade your MOSH/MOAH analysis to the next level. Learn how to automatically prep samples and report out under one single software solution, utilizing Thermo Scientific Chromeleon CDS lab software.
- Don’t deal with unnecessary headaches, when it comes to getting your results fully automated. Our experts have programmed solutions for you and your lab.
- A heated line and heated valves help you avoid time-consuming cleaning procedures and unreliable results.
As previously mentioned, there is a large variety of matrices where MOSH/MOAH can generate issues. Edible oils are one source, but at the end of 2022 there was also a major scandal around MOSH/MOAH in butter, which I wrote about in a blog post.
Since this is such a hot topic, Thermo Fisher Scientific also hosted a couple of webinars on the topic. This on-demand webinar will show you the different workflows and which kind of sample preparation is necessary.
In addition, we hosted an “Ask the Experts” session in early 2023 where our cooperation partner from SampleQ answered customer questions.
If you are interested in customizing your MOSH/MOAH system, you can contact us at email@example.com to talk with the expert you see in the videos. It is important to understand your matrix and how you can remove certain disturbing analytes and analyte groups. This service is free. Just send us an email and we will contact with you to find the perfect fit for you and your analytical demands.