A new research study that was recently released shows a correlation between an ingredient in the butter-flavoring in microwave popcorn and respiratory ailments.

The ingredient 2,3-pentanedione (PD), used to impart the flavor and aroma of butter in microwave popcorn, is a respiratory hazard that can also alter gene expression in the brain of rats. Manufacturers started using PD when another butter flavoring, diacetyl, was found to cause bronchiolitis obliterans, a life-threatening and nonreversible lung disease in workers who inhaled the substance.

The study sheds light on what some in the industry have come to call "popcorn lung".

The experts say that although the ingredient can be an irritant to factory workers who are assembling the microwave popcorn, ingesting it hasn't shown any negative effects.



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