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The aim of the review was to characterize and describe the physicochemical properties and methods for the determination of two types of compounds: 3-monochloropropane- 1,2-diol fatty acids esters (3-MCPD esters) and glycidyl fatty acids esters (GE) - new contaminants of food products, including vegetable fats. This paper describes their structure, several possible mechanisms of reactions occurring during the refining of edible oils, leading to an increase of their content in the final product. It is suggested that these compounds are formed from acylglycerols, under the influence of high temperature [9]. The emphasis was put on the toxicity of the products of their deesterification-free 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol (3-MCPD) and glycidol. Glycidol is genotoxic and has an effect on gene mutations and unscheduled DNA synthesis [17]. 3-MCPD is defined by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) as a genotoxic carcinogen [6, 19]. There are three transformation tracks leading to increased levels of 3-MCPD in foods: from 3-MCPD esters, GE and glycidol [14, 15]. The content of 3-MCPD esters and GE in food products was characterized and different processes involving their synthesis were described. Ways of reduction in food products regarding the aspects of raw materials as well as technology were discussed. Among refined vegetable oils, the largest quantities of 3-MCPD esters and GE were found in palm, corn and coconut oils [6, 25]. Finally, the direct and indirect methods of their determination in oils were described. There are new publications reporting on successive improvements of the existing methods for determination of 3-MCPD and its mono- and di-esters, as well as GE in edible oils [42, 43]. Unfortunately, there is still no universal determination method, which would be simple, affordable and accessible for a wider group, such as food producers, that would improve consumer safety.
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