On December 6, 2016 the non-profit organization Foodwatch published the results of a laboratory testing campaign analyzing Christmas sweets for their content of mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH). Foodwatch tested 20 Christmas sweets ranging from chocolate Santa Clauses, ginger bread, and almond biscuits to other types of Christmas chocolates sold in German retail stores. All but one of the 20 tested products contained detectable and quantifiable amounts of MOSH. The highest MOSH content found was 12.1 mg/kg in a chocolate Santa Claus. Only two of the 20 tested products contained detectable and quantifiable amounts of MOAH: In two chocolate Santa Clauses MOAH levels of 0.6 mg/kg and 1.0 mg/kg, respectively, were found. These two Santas were also among the products with the highest MOSH levels. Foodwatch notes that the level of mineral oil contamination in chocolates and sweets has decreased in comparison to previous testing campaigns. Nevertheless, Foodwatch deems the current testing results unacceptable and calls on the producers of the affected products to publicly recall them.
In an earlier article published on November 25, 2016 Foodwatch informs that German retailer Netto pulled a chocolate advent calendar that was found to contain MOSH and MOAH from its shelves. This action came in response to the publication of testing results by the Bavarian Authority for Health and Food Safety (LBL) showing that both the packaging and the chocolates of a selection of advent calendars contained mineral oil residues (FPF reported).
Foodwatch explains that mineral oil residues in chocolate can originate from different sources, such as transportation and production processes, or packaging made from recycled paper and board.
Foodwatch (December 6, 2016). “Schoko-Nikoläuse mit Mineralöl belastet.” (in German)
Foodwatch (December 2016). “Mineralöle in Schokoladen-Weihnachtsmännern.” (pdf; in German)
Foodwatch (December 2, 2016). ” Netto Markendiscount stoppt Verkauf von Adventskalender.” (in German)