Abstract Migration kinetics of straight-chain oligomers and antioxidants from several polyolefins at different temperatures into various solvents have been studied by radioactive tracer techniques. Anhydrous ethanol appears to be a well suited food-oil or liquid-fat simulant for extracting different types of migrants from polyolefins. Pure and mixed triglycerides are also good oil or fat simulants, but the triglycerides offer no simpler analytical procedures than the use of oil or fat themselves. n-Octanol may also be considered as a reasonable oil or fat simulant; however, its action depends somewhat on the choice of migrants. The accelerating action of n-heptane over that of oil or simulants is quantitatively demonstrated. The accelerating effects are greater for migration systems with lower diffusion coefficients. The diffusion coefficients for migration into n-heptane are about 20 times greater than the diffusion coefficients into ethanol or oil for otherwise identical migration systems yielding diffusion coefficients of about 10 −7 cm 2s −1 into oil or ethanol. For systems yielding diffusion coefficients into oil or ethanol of about 10 −12 cm 2s −1, the corresponding diffusion coefficients into n-heptane are about 1000 times greater. The molecular weight distributions ( MWDs) of the n-heptane and ethanol extracts of polyolefins have been analysed. n-Heptane can not only accelerate the migration of the individual migrant but also remove oligomer species that are slightly soluble or present at low levels in the oil or simulant extracts.