Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Harmful Chemicals Found In Most Mac And Cheese Products, Study Finds

The powdered cheese in Kraft Macaroni & Cheese might contain toxic chemicals says this new study. No word yet on Velveeta’s “velvet gold.” Harmful Chemicals Found In Most Mac And Cheese Products, Study Finds
Johnnie Parks | 15 July, 2017, 01:54

Phthalates have been found in macaroni and cheese mixes made with powdered cheese.

Trasande at NYU Langone Medical Center tells CBS News his research has shown a link between phthalates and increases in blood pressure and resistance to insulin in children.

"Therefore, cheese products were chosen as the first in a series of dairy products and other foods to test for phthalates", the study notes.

The groups tested 10 varieties of mac and cheese, including some that were labeled organic, and found high levels of phthalates in all of them. The highest concentrations were found in the highly processed cheese powder found in macaroni and cheese boxes.

Thirty cheese products were tested overall, including ten cheese powder, five sliced cheese, and 15 natural cheese samples, and 29 tested positive for phthalates.

The tested products were purchased in the United States and shipped in the original packaging to VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research in Belgium, where fat extracted from each product sample was analyzed for 13 phthalates using validated test methods, Belliveau said. The chemicals migrate into food from packaging and equipment used in manufacturing and may pose special risks to pregnant women and young children. However, more serious effects of phthalates remain to be a mystery, as human absorption and breakdown of DEHP varies greatly from that of mice and rats. The highest concentrations of phthalates were found in the packets of cheese powder. "Our products are safe for consumers to enjoy", she stated. Also, don't use the dishwasher to clean plastics.

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The report, which was funded by four advocacy groups, looks at chemicals called phthalates, which are used to soften plastics and have been banned from baby teethers and bottles due to health concerns.

Kraft has yet to respond to comment.

Other precautionary measures you can take include never microwaving in plastic, as the extreme heat can cause the chemical to seep into your food.

Noting that phthalates are indeed, "industrial chemicals" used in various applications, Dr. Joe Schwarcz - who is known to some as the "Carl Sagan of Canada," - points out that "just because they have use in a non-food application does not mean they present a risk if found in food".

Further, di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) was found more often in the products and in higher concentrations compared to other phthalates. "According to federal scientists, up to 725,000 American women of childbearing age may be exposed daily to phthalates at levels that threaten the healthy development of their babies, should they be pregnant", said the study. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission permanently banned three types of phthalates in children's toys and in any child care item created to facilitate sleep, feeding, sucking or teething for children age 3 or younger.

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