What chemicals are in your mac and cheese?

Evrard Martin
Juillet 17, 2017

Traces of phthalates, a harmful chemical commonly used in plastic products, adhesives, soaps, et cetera, were found in close to 99.6% of the participants. "Phthalates can migrate into food products during processing, packaging, and preparation".

Think again. A new research claims that chemicals that have been linked to a host of chronic diseases may b present in high concentrations in macaroni and cheese meals made with powdered cheese.

CNN reports the Coalition for Safer Food Processing and Packaging, the group behind KleanUpKraft.org, recently tested 30 mac and cheese products for phthalates. Cheese products were tested for phthalate content as dairy products have been tied to being one of the greatest sources of direct exposure to phthalates (DEHP) in young children and women. But now a study of products that use cheese have found the substances which leak into food from packaging and equipment in nearly all samples.

The concentration of the chemicals in those products was four times higher than in other cheese products, Mike Belliveau, one of the researchers and the executive director of the Environmental Health Strategy Center, told the Times. When doing so, the level of phthalate in a package of powdered cheese was about twice the level in the natural cheeses, and similar to sliced cheese.

A new study found high concentrations of potentially risky chemicals known as phthalates in the macaroni and cheese powder.

"We do not add phthalates to our products", Kraft spokesperson Lynne Galia said in an emailed statement.

Sheela Sathyanarayana, associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington in Seattle and Seattle Children's Hospital, told Slate Magazine there's "really no dose that we know that will lead to significant health defects", noting "you'd probably need to eat multiple boxes a day to start seeing clear negative health effects". The presence of such chemicals in the body was attributed to consuming food items packed in plastic.

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