Technical Seminar on Phthalates in Food
Event type: Seminar
Location: Hong Kong
Start Date: 06/09/11
Duration: one day
Sports Drinks Phthalates Incident
The UK Government Chemist was represented at a seminar recently in Hong Kong on methods of analysis for phthalates in food. This follows an incident in Taiwan where it appears that Di-ethyl hexyl phthalate (DEHP) and Di-isononyl phthalate (DINP) were deliberately added to certain beverages and foods including nutritional supplements and vitamins. This resulted in some recalls of certain Taiwanese products in Hong Kong and in late May 2011 the Taiwanese authorities informed the European Commission that significant amounts of phthalates had been illegally added to certain categories of sports drinks. Normally, producers of sports drinks, jelly and fruit pulps use a palm-oil based product to obtain a cloudy appearance, but in the Taiwanese incident, this was largely replaced by the two cheaper substances: DEHP, and - in one case – DINP. DEHP and DINP are prohibited in the production of food.
The seminar was attended by over 50 delegates from Hong Kong government and private sector laboratories. Michael Walker from the UK Government Chemist Programme spoke on the prevalence, toxicology and general analysis of phthalates, Dr. Samuel Tsz-chun Cheung representing the Hong Kong Government Chemist described his laboratory’s accredited LC-MS/MS procedure for up to 14 phthalates in food and Dr Daria Wong of the Hong Kong Accreditation Service described method validation and verification for phthalates in food.
The presentations are available on the Hong Kong Accreditation Service website:
click on ‘seminar reference materials’ and go to “Technical Seminar on Phthalates in Food"