Look behind the scenes
Mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) are created during petroleum refining and are divided into two essential fractions: mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons (MOSH) and mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons (MOAH). They do not only get into the products through packages. With chocolate, for example, they also enter through harvesting machines, oil-treated sacks for cocoa beans or lubricant oils which are used on production plants.
The problem is: the both very heterogeneous groups, including several thousand chemical substances each, are suspected to be harmful to human health. Results of animal studies proved that MOH can deposit in liver and lymph nodes and damage them. Moreover, substances classified as carcinogenic – even in very low doses – can be found in MOAH. This is why no measurable transfer of MOAH and MOSH to food should take place. However, the latest analysis by Ökotest, Germany evidently shows that at least the chocolate producers do not have the problem under control yet.
There certainly are economically sound measures which also drastically reduce MOSH and/or MOAH contamination, for example the use of hygienically safe, oil-free pumps in production. A leading European chocolate producer therefore opted for NETZSCH and started using their hygienic TORNADO® rotary lobe pump for almond-nougat paste production. The rotary lobe pump is equipped with a belt drive, that sets it apart from all other rotary lobe and multi screw pumps. As a result, it functions completely oil-free. “It is a T.Sano® rotary lobe pump. Its function is based on two rotary lobes, which rotate in opposite directions, thus transporting the medium from the suction to the pressure side smoothly but continuously,” explains Erwin Weber, Manager of the TORNADO® rotary lobe pump product line. The pump is particularly suitable for the use in the chocolate production due to the material choice: “All components used in the T.Sano® rotary lobe pump that come into contact with the medium are made of stainless steel to comply with the food safety guidelines (EHEDG-certification)” Weber says. This not only ensures a long service life but also the lifetime of the pump. The all-metal T.Sano® also prevents the product to be contaminated with elastomer dust and fulfils even the strictest industry cleaning standards.