Summary - 3-MCPD

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3-MCPD or (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol or 3-chloropropane-1,2-diol) is a food processing contaminant. The chemical is a byproduct/process contaminant that may be formed in foods. It is primarily generated in foods by protein hydrolysis, e.g. in soy sauce. The compound can also be formed upon contact with certain food contact materials used in eg. some tea bags. It has been found in some Asian sauces such as oyster, soy and hoisin sauce (1). 3-MCPD is an organic compound that is carcinogenic and suspected genotoxic in humans.

3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol) is the most common of a group of chemical contaminants known as chloropropanols. It is usually formed when fat-containing foods that also contain salt are exposed to high temperatures during production. It occurs at low levels in many foods and food ingredients as a result of processing. It is most frequently found at high levels in soy sauces and the savoury food ingredient acid-hydrolysed vegetable protein (acid-HVP). Research has also indicated that it can be formed from 3-MCPD esters by thermal processing and by the action of lipases in the human digestive tract. 3-MCPD has probably been present in foods since they were first cooked/processed, but it is only recently that scientists have been able to detect it reliably. 3-MCPD is an international issue affecting foods worldwide.