The concentrations of phthalic acid esters in a water bath at sous-vide heat treatment
Keywords:water, dibutyl phthalate, di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate, plasticizer, contaminant
Esters of phthalic acid are common contaminants of the environment because of their large application in plastics. Phthalic acid esters are used as plasticizers in plastics, and they are also used in plastic intended for contact with food. In our research, we investigated the influence of heating on the migration of phthalic acid esters into the water used as a water bath. The water bath was used to heat the vacuum-wrapped meat, this heating is called the sous-vide method. The plastic thermostable bags containing phthalates were used on the meat packaging. Two esters of phthalic acid dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) have been determined. Three packaged meat samples were heated in a water bath for one hour either at 50 °C or at 60 °C. The water was analyzed always before the heating and after the heating. Average DEHP concentrations in the water dropped after heating at 50 °C in two cases and average DBP concentrations rose in one case and declined in one case. Average DBP concentrations in water declined after heating at 60 °C, while average DEHP concentrations after heating at 60 °C in water increased. The concentrations of phthalic acid esters in the water ranged from 15.2311 μg.L-1 to 34.5645 μg.L-1 for DEHP and from 0.0433 μg.L-1 to 2.6529 μg.L-1 for DBP. The heating of vacuum-packed food in plastic phthalate bags in a water bath does not pose a great risk of contamination of water with phthalic acid esters.
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