Chloropropanols Testing

Analytical testing dotsChloropropanols Testing

3-chloro-1,2-propanediol (3-MCPD) and 1,3-dichloro-2-propanol (1,3-DCP)

The chloropropanols are suspected human carcinogens. 3-MCPD also has male antifertility effects and 1,3-DCP is a known genotoxic carcinogen in animals Both the European Union (EU) and the US EPA have established maximum allowable levels for these substances in foods and food packaging. The State of California has both substances listed in their Proposition 65 list of cancer-causing compounds whose presence must be disclosed if found in any product being sold in the state.

There are two main sources of the most common propanols, 3-MCPD and 1,3-DCP in foods and food packaging. The food sources are those products in which vegetable protein has been hydrolysed with acid vegetable protein (acid-HVP) which reacts with residual lipids to form the chloropropanols. Another source are certain asian sauces, including soy sauces, hoisin sauces and oyster sauces in which hydrochloric acid is used to speed up the fermentation process. The use of hydrochloric acid is faster and cheaper than traditional fermentation. In all cases 3-MCPD is usually found in higher concentrations than 1,3-DCP.

The second potential source is the wet-strength resin made with epichlorohydrin used in food packaging material to prevent material disintegration. As the resin, itself, breaks down, both 3-MCPD and 1,3-DCP are formed and can migrate into the food.

The food packaging industry has responded to this problem by coating extruded food contact portion of epichlorohydrin containing food packaging material with polyethylene. This effectively stops the migration of 3-MCPD and 1,3-DCP into foods. Additional information about these migration studies may be found on the website if the National Council of the Paper Industry for Air and Stream Improvement (NCASI) or contact us for more information.

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