Solvents are substances that can dissolve solid, liquid, or gaseous materials, without changing the materials or themselves chemically. The most important substance classes of solvents, aside from water, include aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons, alcohols, ethers, ester, ketones, halogenated hydrocarbons, nitrogen compounds, and sulfur compounds. This wide range makes it possible for solvents to be selected according to specific criteria beyond their dissolving properties, such as their volatility, environmental effects, potential health hazards, and flammability. Solvents are broadly available and are found in a diverse array of products. Aside from being used industrially in the manufacture of paints, coating, films, plastic masses, chemical fibers, printing inks, and adhesives, solvents also play an important role in food processing.
They can be used either as carrier solvents or as extraction solvents. Carrier solvents are defined as food additives that facilitate the integration of other additives into a food product. The use of carrier solvents is regulated in the European Union by the Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on food additives. Extraction solvents are substances that are used in extraction processes in order to obtain or remove certain substances from food but are then removed from the final product. When these solvents are used, it may be technically impossible to prevent a certain amount of residue from being left behind in the food product. The German Extraction Solvents Ordinance (ElmV) lists all of the extraction solvents permitted in Germany as well as their maximum residue levels in food.
The GBA Group has long-term experience analyzing solvents in a diverse range of food products using GC-FID technology. We offer analytical packages of various sizes. If you would like further details about the analytical scopes, please do not hesitate to contact us.