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In recent weeks, SGS has identified Ethylene Oxide and 2-Choroethanol in a large percentage of parcels with distributed sesame seeds. Ethylene Oxide (EtOx) is known to have strong insecticidal properties. As a toxic compound, it has a low maximum residue level (MRL) for food matrices or related substances.

Sesame seeds in a jar

Separate Analysis for Better Understanding

We believe that the separate determination of both Ethylene Oxide (EtOx) and 2-Chloroethanol enables a better understanding of possible contamination. Therefore, we have developed an in-house method, following all necessary procedures, for reporting our results under ISO 17025 accreditation.

  • Technique: Head Space GCMS
  • Principles
    • Both compounds are determined by means of Head Space GCMS
    • A specific amount of the sample (depending on the type of matrix) is weighed
    • For each type of matrix (per series of measurements), a sample peak of 0.05 µg (0.05 mg/kg) is analyzed
    • For EtOX and 2-Chloroethanol, two separate analytical runs are done (in order to distinguish EtOx from acetaldehyde)
  • Reporting limit: 0.02 mg/kg
  • Both compounds are reported separately
  • Capacity: +/- 30 to 35 samples every two days

Currently, we are accredited for sesame seeds and quinoa. We expect to soon receive accreditation for prepared products such as crackers, herbs and spices.

For further information, please contact:

Luc de Ren
Environment, Health and Safety
Business Manager
t: +32 3 545 85 84

About SGS

SGS is the world's leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 89,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,600 offices and laboratories around the world.