Send to

Choose Destination
Int J Occup Environ Health. 2010 Jul-Sep;16(3):291-302.

Emission of diacetyl (2,3 butanedione) from natural butter, microwave popcorn butter flavor powder, paste, and liquid products.

Author information

Materials Analytical Services, LLC, Suwanee, GA, USA.


Diacetyl (2,3 butanedione), a butter-flavored diketone, has been linked to a severe lung disease, bronchiolitis obliterans. We tested a total of three natural butters and artificial microwave popcorn butter flavorings (three powders, two pastes, and one liquid) for bulk diacetyl concentration and diacetyl emissions when heated. Pastes and liquid butter flavors contained the highest amount (6% to 10.6%) while natural butter possessed up to 7500 times less diacetyl. All artificial butter flavors studied emitted diacetyl. Dry powders emitted up to 1.62 ppm diacetyl; wetted powders up to 54.7 ppm diacetyl; and pastes emitted up to 34.9 ppm diacetyl. The liquid butter flavor emitted up to 17.2 ppm diacetyl. Microwave popcorn flavoring mixtures emitted up to 11.4 ppm diacetyl. At least 93% of the dry powder particles were inhalable. These studies show that microwave butter flavoring products generate concentrations of diacetyl in the air great enough to endanger those exposed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Taylor & Francis
Loading ...
Support Center