New data on bisphenol A (BPA) concentrations in canned beers

Packaging (Bottles, Draft, Cans) Session
Leif A Garbe, TU Berlin / VLB Berlin, Germany
Co-author(s): Xu-Liang Cao, Bureau of Chemical Safety – Health Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada; Julie Zech, VLB Berlin/TU Berlin, Germany

ABSTRACT: Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical agent that exists in many everyday products. In the food industry BPA reaction products are usually introduced as inner can coatings to prevent contact between food and metal surfaces. The presence of unpolymerized BPA monomers is considered the main problem when BPA polymers are used in immediate contact with food. Monomers originate from uncompleted polymerization, mechanical decomposition, or cleavage by chemical hydrolysis. BPA migrates from coating to packed product and contaminates the foodstuff. The consumption of products from BPA containing packages is the main source of consumer exposure to BPA. BPA uptake is suspected to have several negative effects on human health, thus consumers are alarmed and are demanding information. In 2011 more than 500 surveys on BPA were published; still there are no reliable long term studies that prove or disprove adverse health effects of low dose BPA exposure. BPA has been traced in almost every canned food and beverage, as well as in canned beer. Up to now the analytical data have been rare and uncertain. In the present work, the analysis of BPA in canned beer was re-evaluated using several analytical procedures. Varying sample preparation procedures were combined with sensitive GC-MS and LC-MS instrumentation. A stable isotope dilution assay using lab made D4-BPA and commercial D16-BPA stable isotope labeled BPA was employed to enable accurate trace level quantification from the complex beer matrix. In cooperation with the Health Canada Bureau of Chemical Safety in Ottawa (Ontario) analytical data were validated in an inter-laboratory test. The survey demonstrates updated data on BPA in canned beer. It indicates that BPA concentration is very low (approximately 50–400 ng/L), much lower than in most other canned foodstuffs. Obviously, the beer matrix and processing techniques do not favor BPA migration into the product. Even BPA exposure through beer consumption is very low and presumably safe (the U.S. court required the U.S. FDA to decide on a BPA ban by March 31, 2012). Independent of the decision, precise control of BPA levels in foodstuffs and especially in beer seems necessary since BPA will be a ubiquitous chemical for many years even if it is banned today.

Leif-Alexander Garbe is professor for biochemical and technical analysis at the Berlin Institute of Technology (TUB). Additionally, he chairs the Department for Special Analyses at the Research and Teaching Institute for Brewing in Berlin (VLB). Leif graduated in 1996 from TUB with a diploma in chemistry. Then he worked as a researcher and teacher at VLB and TUB. He supervised biotechnology and brewing students and performed several research projects in brewing and life sciences. He finished his Ph.D. thesis in April 2002 on the “Metabolism of Hydroxy-Fatty Acids in Yeasts,” and his habilitation thesis in 2009 on “The Biochemistry of Oxidized Lipids: Analytical Characterization of Bioactive Metabolites” at TUB. Today Leif’s research interests focus on mass spectrometry, NMR, trace analysis, biotransformation, isotope dilution technique, and Maillard reaction of peptides/proteins.