Good news on Diacetyl

It turns out that turning up the heat on popcorn manufacturers to replace diacetyl, the artificial butter flavoring ingredient that kills people exposed to it during manufacturing, has effects. Apparently, there are substitutes that work just as well and can be used without too much trouble.

Popcorn Maker Drops Chemical Linked To Lung Ailment – Local News Story – WRTV Indianapolis

Weaver Popcorn Co., one of the nation’s top microwave popcorn makers, has switched to a new butter flavoring, replacing a chemical linked to a lung ailment in popcorn plant workers.

The Indianapolis-based company began shipping new butter-flavored microwave popcorn a few weeks ago that contain no diacetyl, a chemical undergoing national scrutiny because of cases of bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare life-threatening disease often called popcorn lung.

Company president Mike Weaver said that although his workers have experienced no such cases, the family-owned business wanted to lead the popcorn industry and allay consumer fears by eliminating the chemical from its product line

David Michaels of George Washington University’s Scientific Knowledge and Public Policy Project and writer on one of my favorite blogs, the Pump Handle has been at the forefront of documenting this issue, raising awareness and bringing pressure to bear. I am glad to see that we’re seeing positive change for diacetyl.

Hopefully, you’re going to start seeing “Diacetyl Free!!!!” signs on your microwave popcorn (and other artificially buttered products) real soon.

3 comments for “Good news on Diacetyl

  1. Dr. Efraim Graber
    September 10, 2007 at 4:14 pm

    Dear Madam, Dear Sir,

    Our company Balirom ltd manufactures beside others, Butter Flavors containing Diacetyl.
    Could you help me and mention a substitute for Diacetyl and a source for purchasing.
    Thank you and best regards,

    Efraim

  2. September 10, 2007 at 5:06 pm

    Dr Graber:

    Not being a flavoring scientist, I do not know what the alternatives are. What is the flavor and extract manufacturer’s association (http://www.femaflavor.org/) recommending? FEMA’s statement recommends reducing the amount of diacetyl, not actually replacing it. But I’m sure they will know what Conagra and Weaver are using.

    Good luck.

  3. efraim graber
    September 11, 2007 at 6:53 pm

    Dear Sir,
    Thank you for your reply.
    Best regards,
    Efraim
    Balirom ltd
    Israel