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Cyclo-di BADGE: New pollutant from the can
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Tin cans are usually coated – contaminants in this layer can theoretically pass into the food inside the can. German food controllers (of CVUA-MEL) have now pointed out a pollutant that previously was not the focus of attention: Cyclo-di-BADGE (CdB). It can also be a problem for organic producers, as they do not use any other cans than their conventional colleagues.
BADGE is the abbreviation for bisphenol A diglycidyl ether, a chemical related to bisphenol A from which epoxy resins for coatings are produced. It made headlines as early as the 1990s, when it was found in various canned foods. In 2005, the EU set a limit of nine milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg) for BADGE in food. Epoxy resins are also produced from bisphenol A. Since 2011, a limit value of 0.6 mg/kg has applied to this hormonally active pollutant for food.
In the production of epoxy resins, these two raw materials can combine to form another pollutant: Cyclo-di-BADGE (CdB). In 2016, the CVUA-MEL in Lower Saxony, Germany, had already found this contamination in oil-containing tinned fish in quantities of one to two mg/kg. At the time, the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) noted that at this concentration, undesirable effects on health could be possible for people who consume an above-average amount of canned fish containing oil. The authority recommended further investigations into the toxicity of the substance.
Particularly high contamination of roasted vegetables in cans
Now, the scientists at CVUA-MEL have investigated whether CdB pass into foodstuff in soup and stew cans with an epoxy resin coating. Most products contained CdB contents between 0.2 and 0.5 mg/kg, a few products more than 1 mg/kg. The highest amount was found in canned roasted vegetables. The authority writes that there have already been high findings in canned coconut milk too. She points out that in addition to the fat content, the CdB content is also influenced by temperature and duration of sterilisation of the filled can. Moreover, she said that there are coatings that do not require any epoxy resins. "Due to the large number of products containing CdB", the CVUA-MEL advocates an evaluation of the substance by the EU Food Safety Authority EFSA as a basis for a limit value that does not yet exist. This would "provide the necessary security for all sides."