Kermit Highfield in Louisville KY
says There is no doubt regarding the nutritional aspect of popcorn as a snack, however, consumers remain wary about microwave popcorn. The doubt was conceived primarily due to the presence of certain chemicals in microwave popcorn. Recently, Mr. Kermit Highfield
shared some of these issues regarding consumption of microwave popcorn.Diacetyl
Diacetyl is a natural compound which is used to provide a buttery aroma and flavor to the popcorn. Initially marked “generally recognized as safe (GRAS)” by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), this compound was later linked with some health issues. The workers in the popcorn factories inhaled diacetyl fumes in large quantity and were diagnosed with an ailment known as “popcorn lung” which even resulted in several deaths. This compound was found to be safe for consumers, however, eating popcorn daily may have adverse effects.
Perflourinated Compounds (PFCs)
Perflourooctane sulfonate (OFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA or C8) are also found in cookware and coating of food packets. These chemicals are triggered when a popcorn bag is heated up and therefore are transmitted to bloodstream. A study confirmed that the health risks from exposure to PFCs include liver, testicular and pancreatic cancer.
How was the issue addressed?
In the wake of health concerns, many manufacturers voluntarily stopped using these compounds in production of microwave popcorn. The issue was taken seriously by the FDA and they went as far as banning PFCs in 2011 followed by a diacetyl ban in 2018. At present, these compounds are not being used in United States.
believes that necessary measures were taken by the government in favor of public health. Upon removal of harmful compounds, microwave popcorn remains a healthy snack for consumers.