Table of Content
Diacetyl Banned from Use As Flavoring Agent As Per FSSAI Directive
What is diacetyl?
Diacetyl Is A Synthetic Substance Used A Flavoring Agent. Flavorings can be either naturally occurring or synthetic or exist as a mixture like in the case of diacetyl.
It is usually yellow (or sometimes green) in color and mostly found in liquid form. The substance has a buttery flavor, used commonly to flavor popcorn.It is often used in the edible oil industry to add flavor to an oil like canola or vegetable oil. It is commonly found in microwave popcorn because of its smooth buttery texture.
It has been found that exposure to heated diacetyl may be associated with bronchiolitis obliterans (BO) which is a fatal respiratory disease. It basically obstructs the airway. And it is an irreversible lung disease.
Diacetyl is found naturally in dairy products especially fermented items like yoghurt, cheese, even beer and wine.
It has been suggested in literature that primary and second prevention of diacetyl is needed for protecting public health.
Why has diacetyl been banned?
The FSSAI issued a ban on the use of diacetyl in the food industry especially in edible oils. The gazette has been notified under the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales- Second Amendment) Regulations, 2019.
It is stated that even though a product may be safe to eat, it may not be safe enough to continuously inhale it while working with it in a food processing factory where food stuff along with diacetyl is often heated. Even cooks are affected by exposure to diacetyl used in oils like canola which is used to grease the grills and pans in the kitchens to fry eggs etc.
The ban is more aimed to protect food processing company workers than consumers directly consuming diacetyl. It is the vapors of diacetyl which is the main culprit. It is the occupational use of the substance that’s the cause of lung disease.
What does the ban state?
The notification has issued a clause to be inserted in the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Regulations, 2011, in Regulation 2.3, in Sub-regulation 2.3.15, after Clause 6.
It states: “(7) Restriction on the use of diacetyl as flavouring substance in oils and fats.”