From WikiMD's Food, Medicine & Wellness Encyclopedia

3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol) is a chemical compound that is a byproduct of several food processing methods. It is found in foods that have been cooked at high temperatures, and in some cases, it has been found in ingredients used in food products.

Chemical Structure[edit | edit source]

3-MCPD is a small, organic molecule with the chemical formula C3H7ClO2. It consists of a three-carbon backbone, with a hydroxyl group (OH) attached to the first and second carbons, and a chlorine atom attached to the third carbon.

Production[edit | edit source]

3-MCPD can be formed during the production of foods that are processed at high temperatures, such as during the hydrolysis of proteins. It can also be formed during the refining of vegetable oils, particularly palm oil.

Health Effects[edit | edit source]

Exposure to 3-MCPD has been linked to a number of health problems. In animal studies, it has been shown to cause tumors and infertility. In humans, it has been linked to kidney damage and changes in liver function.

Regulation[edit | edit source]

Due to its potential health effects, the presence of 3-MCPD in food products is regulated in many countries. The European Union has set maximum levels for 3-MCPD in certain foodstuffs, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued guidance on how to reduce levels of 3-MCPD in food products.

See Also[edit | edit source]


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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD