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Gross Ingredients You Might Find in Your Beer…& Other Food

on 05/09/14 at 9:28 am

Booze News

diverse-partikel-grossThat swig of beer may come with more than alcohol and hops — it may also contain a dose of tiny plastic particles, reveals a new study in the journal Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A.Scientists refer to these little fragments as “microplastics,” since they’re less than one-fifth of an inch long.

The researchers tested 24 brands of German beer for microplastics, and found that every last bottle was contaminated with the stuff. (Another gross-out factor: One brand even contained a nearly whole insect, and three had glass shards floating around.

So how does plastic make its way into so many brews? The contamination most likely happens during the filtration and bottling processes, study author Gerd Liebezeit, Ph.D., told Yahoo Health. “There is evidence from the literature that filter material can be found in beer,” he said. “And tap water used for washing beer bottles before filling may also contain small amounts of particles.” Although his study was conducted in Germany, the beer production process is fairly universal across the globe — at least among large producers — said Liebezeit, who noted, “This problem probably occurs everywhere.”