What is 3-MCPD and why is it Bad?

What is 3-MCPD and why is it Bad?

What is 3-MCPD and why is it Bad?

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and several watchdog organizations have brought a chemical compound by the name of 3-MCPD into the spotlight recently. What is 3-monochloropropanediol (3-MCPD) and why is it bad for babies? 3-MCPD is a chemical byproduct formed during the refining process of vegetable oils that has been classified as a potential carcinogen.



Foods containing refined oils can potentially contain 3-MCPD, which has been linked to cancer and male sterility in lab rats. Although the presence of 3-MCPD was detected in foods more than 10 years ago, it was not until recently that many food regulatory agencies began to address the presence of this compound in food products.


EFSA Limits 3-MCPD Levels

Due to its potential health concern, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has “set a tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 2 micrograms per kilogram of body weight per day for 3-MCPD and its fatty acid esters.” The EFSA has also limited concentration levels in hydrolyzed vegetable proteins to 20 micrograms per kilogram of body weight.


To comply with EFSA standards, food manufacturers have altered the way oils are processed to greatly reduce or completely eliminate the presence of 3-MCPD. According to the EFSA, levels of 3-MCPD have reduced dramatically (almost 50 percent) between 2010 and 2015.



The FDA and 3-MCPD

Despite the EFSA’s findings, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been slow to action regarding this potentially harmful chemical substance. In 2006, the FDA acknowledged the potential concern over the presence of 3-MCPD in acid hydrolyzed proteins and issued a guidance level. However, the agency has yet to reevaluate the use of 3-MCPD in other food products and has yet to take any further action regarding its presence in food.  


The Need for More Research

It’s important to remember, there is no direct evidence connecting the levels of 3-MCPD typically consumed and the presence of adverse health effects. The daily intake and guidance levels issued by various regulatory agencies are based only on limited animal studies. Researchers have much to discover about the causes and effects of 3-MCPD as very little is known at this point in time.



European Made Infant Formulas Are Safe 

At, we know you want to give your baby the best, which is why we are partial to our European brands of formula. European food manufacturing standards are much higher than those set by the USDA and in the case of 3-MCPD, are much more advanced in the potential concern over this ingredient.


Most European infant formula manufacturers have modified their production methods to lower levels or completely eliminate the presence of 3-MCPD.


We carry a large selection of European made infant formulas, including formulas designed specifically for infants struggling with colic and constipation. Feel free to contact our customer service department anytime with questions about our extensive selection of organic infant formulas.