Hungarian food safety watchdog NÉBIH issued a warning about a batch of sesame seed oil originating from Singapore and banned its sale.
NÉBIH received the warning through the European Union’s RASFF food safety portal which in turn was notified by the Dutch authorities after laboratory test showed that two lots of the Oh Aik Guan brand pure sesame seed oil contained inadmissible amounts of benzopyerene and several other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are the result of imperfect combustion. They degrade very slowly and if ingested, can accumulate in the human body, resulting in genotoxic and carcinogenic effects.
Trace amounts of these compounds are found in many foods, and they aren’t completely avoidable, but their ingestion must be kept at a minimum, thus there is a safety limit to their presence in food.
Title image: Sesame oil (illustration)