Biohit has carried out measurements of carcinogenic acetaldehyde concentrations in foodstuff. Acetaldehyde is a widely used and naturally occurring group-1 carcinogen with apple scent. Industry produces hundreds of thousands of tons it annually. Acetaldehyde is especially rich in food prepared with a fermentation process such as alcohol beverages, vinegar and dairy products.
This study measured acetaldehyde concentrations in industry prepared drinks, some of which included alcohol and some were non-alcoholic. The sample included 119 different commercial products that are available in grocery and liquor stores.
The acetaldehyde concentrations were generally high in the test samples that include alcohol. Acetaldehyde concentrations exceeded even 5 times the so-called safety limit, 100 µM. In mild industrial alcoholic beverages (beers) the acetaldehyde concentration varied considerably within a category. The concentrations ranged strongly also within the mulled wine-type beverages.
Public health is also worth noticing that the official classification of alcoholic beverage requires 2.8% alcohol content. Also many of the home-made drinks and foods such as home-brewed beer or soya sauces contain alcohol resulting from the fermentation. In that way even low alcohol contents act remarkable sources of acetaldehyde in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
CEO Semi Korpela, Biohit Oyj: "The food and alcohol industry as well as the food industry monitoring agency admit the existence of acetaldehyde. Acetaldehyde and harmfulness of the exposure should be in general awareness. Consumers should be aware of risks caused by everyday products that are known “safe”.
The measurement results and additional information:
CEO Semi Korpela, Biohit Oyj
Tel. +358 9 773 861
Biohit Oyj in brief
Biohit Oyj is a Finnish biotechnology company operating globally that was established in 1988. Biohit’s mission is “Innovating for Health” and “Cancer Prevention”. The purpose of the company is to take social responsibility and produce innovation, new technologies and analysis systems for use in medicine, research institutions and industry, helping to promote research and diagnostics and to improve the quality of life of people by means of preventing disease, human suffering and financial loss. We are committed to responsibility and it is our duty to innovate and develop the marketing and availability of our products and services. Biohit is headquartered in Helsinki and its subsidiaries are located China and UK. Since 1999, Biohit’s Series B shares (BIOBV) have been listed in the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki Oy Small cap/Healthcare sector.
Acetaldehyde Group I human carcinogen
In October 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which forms part of the World Health Organization, classified acetaldehyde included in and generated endogenously from alcoholic beverages as a Group I human carcinogen. Acetaldehyde belongs to the same risk class as, for example, asbestos and tobacco.
Specific microbes (bacteria and yeasts) in the gastrointestinal tract are the most important source of acetaldehyde exposure to the human body. These microbes produce acetaldehyde from alcohol and, in certain circumstances, from sugar. Unlike the liver, the microbes and the intestinal mucosa cannot remove the acetaldehyde, and due to the effect of alcohol, an abundance of acetaldehyde accumulates in the saliva and elsewhere in the gastrointestinal tract. Acetaldehyde is a substance that accumulates in the body from several sources, continuous exposure to it thereby severely increasing the risk of cancer to various organs.
Source: IARC, Secretan et al (2009)
Additional information: www.biohithealthcare.com
Specify the acetaldehyde concentrate in foodstuff with Biohit laboratory
Biohit's service laboratory offers the possibility to measure the concentrations of carcinogenic acetaldehyde mm. nutrients in foods and alcoholic beverages. The service is suitable for the food industry, research institutions and supervisory authorities as a regular consumer alike.