The report, titled ‘Contamination of wines and spirits by phthalates: types of contaminants present, contamination sources and means of prevention’, says a more worrying statistic the research brings to light is that 11% of the wines analysed did not comply with EU specific migration limits (SML) for materials in contact with food.
The report says phthalate compounds are extremely widespread in our environment and are present in many plastics. Though the subject is of much debate, the toxicity of phthalates varies depending on their chemical composition and some compounds are fairly unanimously considered to have a major potential as hormone disruptors.
The use of phthalates is regulated on an international level and includes those likely to come into contact with food and drink packaging. The study, published in Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A, analysed phthalate concentrations in a variety of French wines and spirits.
The study also analysed a variety of materials frequently present in wineries and found that a large number of polymers often contained high quantities of phthalates. Some containers that are coated in epoxy resin proved to be a major source of contamination. The authors of the paper, P. Chatonnet, S. Boutou and A. Plana, advise ending the use of such containers.
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