Malaysian palm oil to meet new EU food safety levels by 2021

20 November, 2019 12:00 AM printer

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia, the second-biggest producer and exporter of palm oil after Indonesia, will enforce regulations to ensure that by 2021 its palm oil meets new food safety standards under consideration by the European Union, a minister said on Tuesday.

The EU is considering setting new limits by an as-yet unspecified date on food contaminants in refined fats and oils, and is discussing imposing a safety level for so-called 3-MCPD esters found in palm oil, report agencies.

The European Food Safety Authority has said the esters raise potential health concerns.

“The palm oil industry in Malaysia has been instructed (by the government) to adhere to the EU-prescribed level of 3-MCPDE of 2.5 ppm for food products by 2021,” Malaysia’s minister of primary industries, Teresa Kok, told an industry event, referring to contaminants in milligrams per kilo of oil. “A few rounds of consultations with our industry players were held and we are now in the process of enforcing several regulations to ensure that palm oil produced meets the acceptable safety level for 3-MCPDE.”

Malaysia last month said new EU rules could hurt demand for palm oil in food - which accounts for nearly 70 per cent of global consumption of the oil, and where it is used in products such as bread and chocolate spread.