Contaminants in Potato (Chips) Crisps Proficiency Test

Food processing can itself produce contaminants due to chemical reactions. One group of process contaminants is the chloropropanols, of which 3-MCPD is the most commonly occurring and well known. 3-MCPD is a potential carcinogen and so its presence in food is regulated, in EU legislation EC 1881/2006 with a maximum level of 20 μg/kg in foods. There is also an advised tolerable daily intake of 2 μg/kg body weight. As a result, your testing ability should be benchmarked against international standards, to ensure your results are valid and able to highlight contaminants accurately across a range of test materials such as potato crisps.

Potato crisps account for a vast amount of snacks consumed within western markets and a large proportion globally.

Fapas proficiency tests utilise real food samples to provide as close to true routine testing environments to provide useful comparisons between your proficiency tests and routine testing capabilities. This gives you the confidence to make key decisions with quality control and continuous improvement of your testing capabilities.

3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol) was first detected in hydrolysed vegetable protein (HVP - a seasoning ingredient), soy sauce and similar foods in 1978. It is formed as a reaction product of hydrochloric acid with triacylglycerols, phospholipids and glycerol from the residual vegetable oil. As vegetable oil is used substantially across potato crisp (chip) production, these crisps may be at high risk of contamination, and therefore require extensive testing to mitigate these risks.

EFSA has established a tolerable daily intake (TDI) for 3-MCPD which has been calculated as 0.8 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day (μg/kg bw/day) for 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters based on evidence linking this substance to organ damage in animal tests.