During the production of palm oil, 3-MCPD forms from the reaction of acylglycerol with the chloride ion (Cl-). 3-MCPD is a potentially carcinogenic compound, with a tolerable daily intake of 2 µg/kg of bodyweight. As a result, the palm oil industry limits the 3-MCPD concentration to less than 10 mg/kg.
Because 3-MCPD only forms in the presence of Cl-, removal of free Cl- is critical. Chloride is introduced from the raw palm fruit, which accumulates Cl- by uptake from the soil, water, and fertilizer. During the processing of the palm fruit, steam is introduced to remove as much Cl as possible. However, if all Cl is not removed, 3-MCPD can be formed in further refining steps. Therefore, after initial processing, the crude palm oil (CPO) must be monitored for chloride content.
This work describes the ability to measure chloride extracted from palm oil by ICP-OES, leveraging the unique capabilities of PerkinElmer’s Avio® 200 hybrid-scanning system.