Study exposes widespread microplastics in food

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Recent research has revealed a silent hazard in our diets: microplastic contamination in various foods, some of which are consumed frequently.

A study published in February found that 90% of plant and animal protein samples contained microplastics, substances linked to serious health issues including breast and prostate cancer, as well as genetic abnormalities in cells.

The study, conducted by a team of researchers and published in the journal Environmental Research, tested a range of popular frozen protein foods.

The results were startling, showing that breaded shrimp contained the highest levels of microplastics, with an average of 300 pieces per serving. Plant-based nuggets followed, with 100 pieces per serving, then chicken nuggets, and breaded fish, raw shrimp, and plant-based fish.

The lowest levels of microplastics were found in chicken breast, followed by pork loin and tofu.

However, the issue extends beyond protein sources. Researchers from the University of Catania in Italy discovered significant amounts of microplastics in fruits and vegetables, with apples containing an average of 195,500 pieces per gram, and pears averaging 189,500 pieces per gram.

Broccoli and carrots were found to be the most contaminated vegetables, with over 100,000 pieces per gram.

Microplastics are pervasive not only in our food but also in bottled drinking water. A study from Columbia University in January examined bottled water samples from three brands and found between 110,000 and 400,000 microplastic particles per litre, with an average of 240,000 particles.

To mitigate the intake of microplastics, experts advise avoiding food packaged in plastic when possible, choosing glass bottles or foil-wrapped items instead.

They also recommend wearing natural fabrics, using natural materials for consumer goods, avoiding frozen or processed foods, and not heating food in plastic containers in the microwave.

Instead, transfer food to glass containers or use a stove for warming. Incorporating as much fresh food into the diet as possible and limiting the purchase of specially processed and plastic-wrapped processed foods is also suggested.

The findings serve as a reminder of the unseen dangers lurking in everyday items and underscore the importance of making informed choices about consumption and lifestyle to safeguard health, as reported by Sanook.

Thailand News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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