Benzene concentrations in beverages

Jan 07, 2008
Benzene concentrations in beverages
A new study reveals that cancer-causing benzene is still elevated in certain drinks. Credit: Courtesy of the American Chemical Society

Only nine percent of 199 beverage samples had benzene levels above the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) limit of 5 parts per billion (ppb) for benzene in drinking water, according to a study by EPA and U. S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists. It is scheduled for the current issue of ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Products containing benzene above the EPA level were reformulated by the manufacturers to minimize or eliminate benzene and one product was discontinued, researchers said. Benzene levels in the reformulated products were 1.1 ppb or less.

About 71 percent of beverage samples in the study contained less than 1 ppb. Based on results from the survey and actions taken by the beverage industry, FDA concluded that the levels of benzene found did not pose a safety concern for consumers.

In the study, FDA’s Patricia Nyman and colleagues point out that benzene can form at ppb levels in some beverages that contain a food preservative, benzoate salt, and ascorbic acid (vitamin C). In the early 1990s, the U.S. beverage industry discovered benzene in some beverages and reformulated those products. In 2005, the substance again was found in some beverages, likely because new manufacturers were unaware of the problem, the study says. Some manufacturers also have added vitamin C to drinks in response to consumers’ desire for healthier products.

The study found that product formulation, shelf-life, and storage conditions were important factors affecting benzene formation. The report also describes the in-house validation of FDA’s analytical method for determining benzene in beverages.

Source: ACS

Explore further: Marine pest provides advances in maritime anti-fouling and biomedicine

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Bright ideas chase investor dollars at forum

Dec 24, 2013

A company that can generate electricity using low-temperature waste heat was the big winner at the recent 26th annual Industry Growth Forum in downtown Denver, a gathering of people who have no qualms about ...

Recommended for you

Nature inspires a greener way to make colorful plastics

17 hours ago

Long before humans figured out how to create colors, nature had already perfected the process—think stunning, bright butterfly wings of many different hues, for example. Now scientists are tapping into ...

New catalyst converts carbon dioxide to fuel

19 hours ago

Scientists from the University of Illinois at Chicago have synthesized a catalyst that improves their system for converting waste carbon dioxide into syngas, a precursor of gasoline and other energy-rich products, bringing ...

Bullet 'fingerprints' to help solve crimes

19 hours ago

Criminals don't just have to worry about their own fingerprints these days: because of a young forensic scientist at The University of Western Australia, they should also be very concerned about their bullets' ...

User comments : 0