Ethylene oxide

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Ethylene oxide in food additives

Ethylene oxide is a chemical sometimes used in the production of certain additives or raw materials. There are strict regulations surrounding this controversial substance. In the form of food additives, the substance is controversial because of its carcinogenic, mutagenic and toxic effects, and is not allowed in the European Union.

Nevertheless, this substance is found with regularity, including in fat-containing products such as locust bean gum, sesame seeds or in capsules for medicines in the pharmaceutical industry. Locust bean gum is often used to prepare ice cream and bakery products in the food industry.

Ethylene oxide in brief
  • Protection of consumer health through detection of ethylene oxide
  • Compliance with EU rules on food additives


Enforcement on ethylene oxide has been difficult due to inadequate legislation. As a result, the Commission decided to set a maximum residue level of 0.1 mg/kg for ethylene oxide in food additives in Regulation (EU) 231/2012 by September 1, 2022. This is at the limit of determination for this substance. Which means this is the lowest residue concentration we can currently measure.

Getting your products tested

It is important to have your products tested to verify compliance with the maximum residue limits( MRL). Normec Groen Agro Control is accredited by the RVA to perform Ethylene Oxide analysis on food additives and capsules. In doing so, we respond well to the latest developments.

Do you need an accredited ethylene oxide analysis? Please contact us. A report within a few days is possible, ask for the conditions.

Would you like more information about our services in the field of ethylene oxide in food additives?

Contact us

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