MOSH/MOAH Discovery in German Butter May Spoil Your Taste for Holiday Treats

Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

MOSH/MOAH Discovery in German Butter May Spoil Your Taste for Holiday Treats

Team TFS
Team TFS

Are you sure that your kids are not eating toxic concentrations of MOSH/MOAH while enjoying holiday treats?


Butter and margarine are the most-used ingredients for cakes and cookies for the holidays. On November 17, 2022, the German food control magazine “Ökotest” showed the results for 20 butter samples that represented the most-used butter brands in Germany. Fourteen tested as being “insufficient,” three were labeled “deficient” and only one was considered “good.”


112222 MOSH_MOAH in butter.jpgWhy was this? Because of the MOSH/MOAH (mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons/mineral oil aromatic hydrocarbons) concentration in the butter and especially the highly toxic MOAH. MOAH can be stored in the fat of the human body and can accumulate over time. After years of exposure, this can impact one’s health.


Where does MOSH/MOAH come from?


During the manufacturing process — and from the packaging — MOSH/MOAH can contaminate the butter. The only butter that was considered good by Ökotest was packed in parchment paper.



The EN 16995:2017 describes the methodology and the legal limits for MOSH/MOAH in food. The actual limit is 2 mg/kg. In one butter sample, 19.8 mg/kg was found.



The EN 16995:2017 describes the methodology and the legal limits for MOSH/MOAH in food. The actual limit is 2 mg/kg. In one butter sample, 19.8 mg/kg was found. Those are limits for adults; the limits for infants are considerably lower.


“In an article published on May 28, 2020, the non-governmental organization (NGO) Food Watch announced the discovery of mineral oil hydrocarbons in baby formula products on the German market by government agencies. The Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Offices (CVUA) in the cities of Münster and Stuttgart released their test results to Food Watch in May 2020 following a formal request, however, the NGO found public documentation showing the government agencies had been aware of the contaminations since December 2019 and not made them public.


The CUVA laboratory in Münster reported finding MOSH in all 50 of the baby product samples examined and MOAH in 14 of the 50 samples. The laboratory in Stuttgart did not find MOAH in any of the 17 samples it tested, but it did detect MOSH in 12 of them. From all samples within these two sets of tests known to Food Watch, 92 percent were found to be contaminated with MOSH and 21 percent with MOAH.”[1]


Getting back to butter …


Why is this so important not only for adults but especially for children? Depending on the MOSH/MOAH concentration, cookies – industrially made or homemade – can be toxic for children. The evaluation has been done from the BfR, Federal Bureau of Risk Management in Germany (Berlin).


Especially during the holiday season, tons of butter are used to produce cookies and cakes. In Germany, everybody knows the term “a good pound of butter.” In this case, it is 500 g of butter we are talking about. It would be great if only 500 g of butter was used. There are recipes from our grannies that utilize way more than those 500 g of butter. Just think about those tasty cream cakes, which easily contain 1 kg of butter. The older generation likes lots of butter on their breakfast rolls, despite the recommendation of 39 g per day. Also, consider all the other dishes cooked with lots of butter, especially around the holidays. This adds up in the body, since MOSH/MOAH can come from all different sources of food.


What about margarine?


So what if you use margarine instead of butter? Sorry, but “Ökotest” has shown that it is full of oil containing MOSH/MOAH. This isn’t really a better alternative.


To make things worse, we all like a piece or two of chocolate during the holidays. Chocolate is full of MOSH/MOAH. Even our beloved nut nougat creme and other related products are full of MOSH/MOAH — 17 out of 21 types — according to a recent study by “Ökotest.”


Ok, so maybe you don’t have a sweet tooth. Or you might even be vegan. Vegan meats, one of the groups of vegan products that have become more and more popular have been tested over the last couple of years for MOSH/MOAH. In a recent study, 12 out of 18 products didn’t pass the legal limits.


Solutions for your analysis


So how many cookies do your kids eat during the holiday season? That’s a question you may or may not be able to answer. But if you are interested in knowing how much MOSH/MOAH is in each of those cookies, Thermo Fisher Scientific has fully automated workflows and the experts to help you in your analysis.


Resources for more information


On demand webinar:

AnalyteGuru blog:

Teach me in 10:

Live webinar: Talk to our MOSH/MOAH experts