Washington: A new study including Indian-origin researchers have raised concern about chronic exposure of workers in industry to a food flavouring ingredient used to produce the distinctive buttery flavour and aroma of microwave popcorn, margarines, snack foods, candy, baked goods, pet foods and other products. They found evidence that the ingredient, diacetyl (DA), intensifies the damaging effects of an abnormal brain protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Robert Vince and colleagues Swati More and Ashish Vartak explain that DA has been the focus of much research recently because it is linked to respiratory and other problems in workers at microwave popcorn and food-flavouring factories. DA gives microwave popcorn its distinctive buttery taste and aroma. DA also forms naturally in fermented beverages such as beer, and gives some chardonnay wines a buttery taste.
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