EESFA's Positive Opinion Supports More Sustainable And Healthier Food Processing


The EFSA Panel of experts reported today that methyloxolane is a safe solvent for use in the food industry.

Minafin Group is pleased to announce that the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a positive opinion about the use of methyloxolane in food processing. This paves the way for offering an alternative to petrochemical solvents currently used for in the food industry with patented biobased EcoXtract® solution.


Dunkerque – 16 March 2022 – Methyloxolane is an innovative bio-based solvent for the extraction of vegetable oils, plant proteins and natural ingredients. It is produced from agricultural by-products (e.g., sugarcane bagasse). Its carbon footprint is only 10% that of the petrochemical solvents it replaces.

The EFSA Panel of experts reported today that methyloxolane is a safe solvent for use in the food industry.  EFSA’s positive opinion is based on its expert panel’s review of a full application dossier including state-of-the-art scientific studies performed under OECD’s latest standards. The dossier and the expert opinion show that methyloxolane provides unprecedented safety for the consumer. This allows methyloxolane to be added to the 20 solvents approved for food use in Europe (Directive 2009/32/CE). This is a breakthrough with world-wide impact. Except for ethanol, all the other solvents approved for use in food production are totally or partially produced from petroleum.

Towards healthier more sustainable extraction processes

The use of methyloxolane for extraction will have a huge impact on the safety and the sustainability of food processing in Europe and beyond. It opens the door for an option to eliminate petrochemical residues in the food chain. “We consider ourselves as frontrunners: petroleum-derived hexane has had an unchallenged position as a food industry solvent for over than 50 years with 1 million tonnes used each year in food processing, world-wide. We now offer a safe, competitive and renewable alternative to food businesses committed to eliminating the presence of petrochemical residues in the food chain” says Laurence Jacques, Director of the EcoXtract Programme.

‘We are looking forward to enabling a safer and more sustainable food chain” comments Laurence Jacques. “The approval of methyloxolane for food applications opens the door for a more efficient extraction process which increases dramatically oil yield compared to mechanical pressing. This results in high quality oils and defatted stable protein-rich ingredients for food and feed. Our goal consists in helping the food producers to implement the EcoXtract® process to provide safe and clean food for all with no additional land use for preserving our beautiful and fragile planet.


About EcoXtract®

EcoXtract® is a technological solution based on a 100% plant-based, recyclable, and degradable bio-based extraction solvent – methyloxolane. This has a powerful combination of environmental and performance features. EcoXtract® has huge potential in the extraction of vegetable oils, plant-based proteins and natural lipophilic molecules, replacing extraction agents such as hexane in growing markets that globally use more than a million tonnes of these petrochemicals per year. For more information, visit https://ecoxtract.com/.

About EcoXtract®project

The EcoXtract® project (Delivering a new, efficient and biobased plant oil and protein extraction system) receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under grant agreement number 970931. Visit https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/970931/fr

About Minafin Group 

The Minafin Group is a leading developer and manufacturer of fine chemicals with three main areas of expertise: health chemistry, green chemistry, and challenging chemistry. Minafin operates six industrial manufacturing sites across Europe and North America. It provide customers in the pharmaceutical, personal care, and agri-food sectors with a range of proprietary products, custom manufacturing, industrial process development and services, and multi-purpose green chemistry formulations. Minafin invests significantly in research into eco-friendly solutions that bring a competitive edge and create value for customers. Minafin’s strong industrial capabilities are consolidated through seven business units: Minakem, Pennakem, Minasolve, Minagro, EcoXtract, Minascent and Pressure Chemicals. These together generated over €235 million in revenue in 2021. Founded in 2004 as a privately held industrial company, Minafin is headquartered in Belgium and employs 900+ staff. For more information, visit http://minafin.com/.