Foods Containing Diacetyl Pose Threat to Consumers

News » Foods Containing Diacetyl Pose Threat to Consumers

Diacetyl is an organic compound found in foods and additives that are used for dairy flavoring.

Diacetyl is also found in brown flavors, such as caramel, butterscotch, and other sweeteners.

Foods containing diacetyl can be found in a variety of products but is most commonly associated with popcorn because of the substance’s connection to “popcorn-lung” — Bronchiolitis obliterans.

While diacetyl can be found naturally in some foods, it is most common in processed food products that contain flavoring additives.

Common Foods Containing Diacetyl

Diacetyl is most prevalent in processed foods that contain butter flavoring.

It is used as a flavoring agent in butter, butter sprays, margarine, shortening, oil, oil sprays and other butter-flavored substances.

If a product is advertised as having “buttery flavor,” then that product likely contains diacetyl.

These products commonly include:

  • Popcorn
  • Potato chips
  • Crackers
  • Corn chips

Diacetyl is also used as a brown flavor sweetening additive in products such as:

  • Chocolate
  • Cookies
  • Cocoa-flavor products
  • Gelatin
  • Candy
  • Flour mixes
  • Syrup with flavoring
  • Frostings
  • Chewing gum
  • Ice cream
  • Soft drinks
  • Sauces

Along with processed foods, diacetyl occurs naturally in some foods and beverages.

Are Food Containing Diacetyl Safe to Consume?

Diacetyl poses a greater risk of toxicity when it is heated.

The likelihood of adverse health risks associated with diacetyl – such as popcorn lung — is therefore increased if a product is heated prior to consumption.

Foods and beverages containing diacetyl are not inherently dangerous to consume if they are not heated.

It is important to note, however, that heating products containing diacetyl trigger a chemical reaction that releases the dangerous compound into the air as a more dangerous vaporous form.

While consuming diacetyl is not a major health risk, inhaling diacetyl vapors can be very dangerous. This poses a great threat to users of Juul and other e-cigarettes.

Diacetyl vapor inhalation is linked to an array of pulmonary complications, including popcorn lung.

If you are heating a product that contains diacetyl — such as microwave popcorn, coffee, hot-cocoa – ensure that the product has cooled down before consuming it.

Distance yourself from the product while it is heating up, and avoid prolonged exposure to diacetyl vapors.



Tom Lewis

TorHoerman Law was responsible for handling a medical case for our family. I was extremely impressed with their professionalism and ability to react quickly. They also did a nice job keeping us updated with the case throughout the process. This was the first time experiencing a situation like this and Tor Hoerman law did an excellent job from start to finish.

Jordan Terry

TorHoerman Law is an extraordinary law firm – a firm that truly makes the client’s best interests the primary concern. Their team of personal injury lawyers are experienced, personable, and well versed in a range of litigation areas. They are supported by a dedicated team of staff that are as equally friendly and helpful. I would recommend TorHoerman Law for any personal injury litigation needs.

Dave Woodley

All of my questions were answered quickly and in a way I could understand. Steve and the entire staff were friendly and professional.

Jordan Butler

I highly recommend this law firm! The attorneys and staff at THL worked hard, communicated every step of the process, kept me well informed at all times, and exceeded all expectations! The staff is kind, considerate, professional, and very experienced. Look no further, call now!

Maddy Moeller

Top-notch, hardworking attorneys!

Karen Hersman

A wonderful and professional legal team. They helped me when I needed expert legal representation! Thank you TorHoerman Law!

Angel Truesdale

They contacted me the next day. Very nice people!

Paul Graegin

The firm went above and beyond. Thank you for everything.