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Occurrence of 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol monoisobutyrate (Texanol®) in foods packed in polystyrene and polypropylene cups

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After simultaneous distillation-extraction (SDE) of foods packed in polystyrene (n = 77) and polypropylene cups (n = 42) from 61 different suppliers, coupled capillary gas chromatography-mass spectrometric (HRGC-MS) analyses indicated the presence of diastereomers of 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol monoisobutyrate (TMPD-MIB; Texanol®), a known coalescent of paints and printing inks. The contaminant was found in 55 and 50% of the polystyrene and polypropylene packed samples, respectively. Amounts ranged 1.2-64.5 µg kg-1 in polystyrene cups (average 25.1 µg kg-1) and 0.9-45.7 µg kg-1 in polypropylene cups (average 10.8 µg kg-1). The origin of Texanol® in the printed plastic cups was demonstrated by separate HRGC-MS analysis, showing amounts in the higher µg kg-1 range. In addition, the presence of two pairs of enantiomers, both found to be racemic by enantioselective multi-dimensional gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (enantio-MDGC-MS), excluded it being of natural origin. The detection limit of overall procedure (DLOP) and the reliable quantification limit (RQL) were 0.2 and 0.9 µg kg-1, respectively. As the diester, 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol diisobutyrate (TXIB), is on the EU list of regulated substances (restricted to single-use gloves only) with a migration limit of 5 mg kg-1 in food and is metabolised rapidly by hydrolysis, the observed migration of the monoester Texanol® at the µg kg-1 level poses no risk of adverse effects.
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Keywords: 2,2,4-trimethyl-1,3-pentanediol monoisobutyrate; TMPD-MIB; Texanol®; contamination; migration; polypropylene; polystyrene

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Lehrstuhl fur Lebensmittelchemie, Universitat Wurzburg, D-97074 Wurzburg, Germany

Publication date: April 1, 2009

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