Diacetyl (DA) is a popular flavourant used in countless food products including microwave popcorn, margarines, snack foods, sweets, baked goods, pet foods, and certain alcoholic beverages. It is known for its distinctive buttery taste and aroma, but also for its negative health effects. Previous studies have linked occupational exposure to this chemical (for example, the workers at these microwave popcorn factories) with the debilitating lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, and others.
Now, this newly published study reveals that DA intensifies the damaging effects of beta-amyloid protein clumping that is hallmark of Alzheimer's disease. Not only does this raise some concern about the chronic exposure of workers in the food flavoring industry, but also whether toxic levels of DA are achieved in the body upon mere consumption of DA-containing food substances like some of those listed above.
So, is there a lesson in this? I think there is, but I just forgot what I was talking about.
...hold up a sec. I just heard the microwave finish. My popcorn's ready!
Source: The Butter Flavorant, Diacetyl, Exacerbates β-Amyloid Cytotoxicity
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