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Kraft Has New Butter Flavor Containing Diacetyl, The "Popcorn Lung"

By RobotGod     Sep 25, 2007 in Food
After numerous complaints of serious illness from popcorn workers and one complaint of illness from a consumer, ConAgra and Pop Weaver removed diacetyl from its microwave popcorn. Now Kraft thinks it's a good idea to use it.
The Consumerist reports that Kraft is introducing a brand new diacetyl-based butter flavor into the market.
According to Kraft, the flavor "can help improve the nutritional profile of products by reducing their calorie content." Fake butter just doesn't taste the same, so manufacturers have to "adjust their formulations - perhaps through the addition of functional starches or shortenings - in order to build back the texture and mouthfeel normally achieved by butter."
This additive/flavor isn't limited to popcorn, it could be used for almost any product where they need a "toasted butter flavor," including crackers, soups, and prepared meats.
Apparently Kraft's position is that diacetyl doesn't pose a risk to consumers, and is only dangerous when inhaled regularly in large amounts. Therefore, workers may be at risk, but maybe not consumers.
There are still no OSHA standards for diacetyl, so I guess Kraft is not bothered, as long as consumers do not demand that they stop using it.
Kraft says it is currently formulating a diacetyl-free version of the flavor, to be introduced at some time in the future. Then why not wait rather then risk it?
I guess we will see what happens. We know that Kraft has balls though, after what happened with popcorn.
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