Announcement: Ethylene oxide in sesame
Ethylene oxide or oxirane is a colorless, flammable gas. As a strongly tense cyclic compound, it reacts easily with various chemical compounds (water, salt, etc.). These reactions are used to make many useful industrial chemicals (solvents, detergents, plastics, etc.). It is used as a surface sterilizer in hospitals for sterilizing surgical instruments (instead of steam), as well as as a contact fungicide for sterilizing food (eg sesame seeds).
Unfortunately, it has, among other things, carcinogenic, mutagenic, irritating and anesthetic properties. This makes it necessary to identify it in food, as well as in other products, in order to exclude those that involve a very low limit, that of 0.05mg / kg.
Batch of sesame seeds with large exceedances of the safety limits were detected through the RASFF security alarm system of the European Union. Since then, there has been an intense investigation of further cases across Europe by public and private entities.
The best method for the determination of ethylene oxide involves a complex mechanical and chemical preparation, as well as the use of highly advanced analytical chromatographic and spectrometric equipment (GC-MS / MS).
Modern Analytics is the first laboratory in Greece that developed in-house know-how and validated a method for the analysis of ethylene oxide to give reliable results in a very short time.