IRCPack offers, in collaboration with Sepack Lab, analysis for the determination of MOSH and MOAH by solvent extraction, solid phase separation and and GC-FID analysis in papers, cartons and plastic films (confirmation of data by GC/MS). 

Mineral oils (MOH) are hydrocarbon compounds derived mainly from crude oil, but also synthesized from coal, natural gas and biomass. In particular, the attention of the world of food packaging is concentrating on two groups of substances: MOAH (Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons) and MOSH (Mineral Oil Saturated aliphatic Hydrocarbons).

The main cause of mineral oil contamination is believed to be paper products manufactured from recycled fiber. In fact, for the printing process of newspapers, which constitute a significant part of the recovery papers, off-set or heat-set inks formulated with mineral oils in significant percentage are used.

Because of the compositional complexity of hydrocarbon solutions of mineral origin, there is no established toxicological evaluation. Furthermore, EFSA considers some MOAHs as possible genotoxic carcinogens.

According to the Recommendation (EU) 2017/84 of 16th January 2017, it is important to carry out a monitoring activity on MOH, as well as in the food itself, also in materials intended to come into contact with them.
The draft of the Mineral Oil Regulation issued by the German Government establishes a maximum migration limit of MOAH (0.5 mg/kg) and recommends the use of a functional barrier in presence of such substances.

Until now, the most appropriate solution to protect consumer health is to adopt packaging with functional barrier properties in order to prevent the passage of these substances from any type of external source (such as secondary packaging or storage environment).

For this reason, IRCPack offers tests to assess the barrier effect:
• of the primary packaging against any contaminants coming from the secondary packaging;
• of the layer in direct contact with food against any contaminants coming from other layers of the material