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Chemicals in your popcorn

Butter or diacetyl-laced popcorn

Source – Wikipedia; the Daily Dose – The Douglass ReportAre you popping buttered popcorn or diacetyl-laced popcorn? Great taste, but HUGE difference.

At low levels diacetyl (or diketone) in alcoholic beverages, contributes a slipperiness to the feel of the beer or wine in the mouth. As levels increase, it imparts a buttery or butterscotch flavor (though butterscotch itself may be devoid of diacetyl).

There is diacetyl in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yes, even butter, but not the synthetic version that goes straight from the lab to your microwave popcorn. And to make matters worse, when diacetyl is exposed to heat it releases a vapor that can cause irreversible damage to your lungs.

The United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has suggested that diacetyl, when used in artificial butter flavoring (as used in many consumer foods), may be hazardous when heated and inhaled over a long period.

The EU Commission has declared that diketones are genotoxic nutrition additives since 2005.

The popcorn industry has kept the dangers of diacetyl hush hush as much as possible, but they’ve known for years that the chemical risks the lives of popcorn plant workers who breathe in the fumes on a consistent basis. Hundreds of workers have had their lungs damaged or destroyed completely, and many have filed suit against the popcorn companies.

Plant workers aren’t the only ones in danger. Cases of the same lung condition are showing up in consumers who chow down on microwave popcorn on a regular basis. And it’s no wonder – turns out that after you pop a bag of microwave popcorn, the levels of diacetyl in your house are eerily similar to those found in the popcorn plants.

Now that the public is beginning to sit up and take notice, big name popcorn companies are finally starting to look for an alternative to diacetyl.

Popcorn Maker Drops Diacetyl Flavoring To Prevent Lung Risk

ConAgra has decided to drop diacetyl, a flavoring it adds to its microwave popcorn, as doctors have indicated there may be a raised risk of developing bronchiolitis obliterans, a type of lung disease. ConAgra is the largest microwave popcorn supplier in the world.

Flavoring Suspected in Illness
Calif. Considers Banning Chemical Used in Microwave Popcorn

Technical Note
Down With Diacetyl,
or
Banish Buttery Butanedione!

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