Minimization of mineral oil migration from packaging



  • Introduction of mineral oil (MOSH, MOAH) into packaging via recycling

  • Migration into foods

  • High values in foods




  • Data acquired about migration under different conditions

  • Model for predicting the migration of mineral oil components (MOH)


  • Optimized packaging

  • Minimization of critical substances in foods

  • Guidlines for companies on minimizing mineral oil migration

Mineral oil components MOSH and MOAH migrate into food

Mineral oil components mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSHs) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAHs), mostly from printing inks used for newspapers, often end up in paper recycling processes and hence also in subsequent packaging containing recycled paper which is used for food products. This means that potentially carcinogenic substances can migrate into foods. Analyzing MOSHs and MOAHs is difficult because these are mixtures of compounds of unknown composition. Conventional approaches for predicting migration are too inaccurate, and therefore a new strategy is needed.

New analytics approaches to minimize MOSH / MOAH migration

The aim is to draw up guidelines for minimizing MOSH/MOAH migration into packaging and to develop new strategies for preventing migration. This will enable industrial companies to evaluate their currently used packaging systems for mineral oil component migration and compliance with food legislation. These companies will then be able to determine whether measures for minimizing MOSH and MOAH migration are necessary, such as the development of new or modified packaging systems (use of barrier layers, inner bags, adsorbent systems, and virgin packaging materials).

Predictive models for mineral oil migration minimize the burden of analytical measurements

The project work involves several tasks. Barrier measurements have to be performed and the processes involving the migration of substances from packaging into food and within the food itself have to be understood. Foods with different phase compositions are being tested in order to maximize the practical usefulness of the results. Suitable test systems (food simulants, test conditions, barrier tests) are being established. The results will provide the basis for subsequent modeling and the development of predictive tools. The ability to predict mineral oil migration will mean that companies only have to measure the initial level of contamination and carry out random verification/validation of the modeling results.

Companies can use efficient guidelines to minimize mineral oil migration

The predictive model for the migration of mineral oil components provides companies with guidelines that help minimize mineral oil migration. Therefore, it can be prevented that food is loaded with critical substances from the packaging. Food packaging thus provides greater security.