Palm oil is used as an ingredient in all sorts of food products, such as margarine, spreads, sauces, cakes and pastries. The palm oil that is used in food in the EU has to comply with all requirements regarding food safety and quality. In Europe we do not consume palm oil as such. The amount of palm oil that is used as an ingredient in a food product is relatively small and not related to any health concern.
To ensure safety to its population, the EU has set maximum limits for 3 MCPD (and 3-MCPD esters) in all refined oils and fats. The limits are based on an EFSA risk assessment.
Based on the exposure and ALARA (As Low As Reasonable Achievable) principle different limits are applied to some specified oils (Coconut, Maize, Palm Kernel, Rapeseed, Soybean, Olive and Sunflower oil) versus all the other vegetable oils (including pomace olive oil, palm oil), fish oil and other and marine oils. Every oil is considered safe when complying with the set limits.
All companies have a responsibility to ensure the production of safe products that comply with applicable laws and requirements. The European palm oil refineries united in the European Palm Oil Alliance (EPOA) are committed to providing safe food products.
The EPOA members are all part of a FEDIOL working group which is assessing the situation and discussing possible solutions, so we refer to FEDIOL to answer questions related to these issues.