In a peer-reviewed study published on August 7, 2014 in the scientific journal Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, French researchers report on the detection of phthalates in wines and spirits produced in France (Chatonnet et al. 2014). One hundred wines and 30 spirits packaged in various different types of food packaging containers were analyzed for the presence of phthalates, a group of chemicals of concern due to their endocrine disrupting properties.
Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) and butyl benzyl phthalate (BBP) were the most frequently detected phthalates. In 59% of wines analyzed DBP was found; only in 17% of the sampled wines none of the phthalates of interest were found. The researchers also found 11% of non-compliant samples where the EU’s specific migration limits were exceeded.
The phthalates’ sources were attributed to a large number of different polymers and epoxy coatings, the latter being commonly used in metal storage vats. The authors also make some recommendations for reducing phthalate levels, for example to end the use of older storage containers that may not comply with currently existing regulations.
Phthalate compounds contaminating your glass of wine. Science Daily, August 8, 2014.
Chatonnet, P. et al. (2014) “Contamination of wines and spirits by phthalates: types of contaminants present, contamination sources and means of prevention.” Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A, (online 7 August 2014)