HomeTechnologyNewsThe Shocking Microwave Popcorn and Chardonnay Have in Common – LifeSavvy

The Shocking Microwave Popcorn and Chardonnay Have in Common – LifeSavvy

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If you’re a wine lover, you’re probably familiar with the buttery notes of a Chardonnay. For some (like me), it’s just not their vibe, but for those who love a good buttered wine, you’ll be surprised at what the drink has in common with microwave popcorn.

As it turns out, the buttery flavor in a Chardonnay is the same ingredient that makes microwave popcorn taste buttery.

Yes, this sounds wild, but we promise no real butter is poured into your bottle of wine. The ingredient is a molecule called diacetyl that occurs naturally during a process called malolactic fermentation, a second fermentation process.

During malolactic fermentation, malic acid is converted to lactic acid, which is a much milder acid and does not give a harsh taste to the wine. When this happens, diacetyl is created and that is where the buttery flavor originates.

But wine is not the only thing that has diacetyl. These are the same ingredients that companies previously used to create a buttery flavor in items like microwave popcorn! Here’s the thing though: Diacetyl is no longer a popular ingredient with most brands. In the 2000s, a group of workers at a popcorn factory won a lawsuit alleging illnesses related to the inhalation of diacetyl (among other inhalants) in the factories.

Since then, many brands have stopped using it. However, diacetyl is still legal and considered safe as a flavoring as long as it is not consumed at high levels or inhaled at high temperatures and levels. Some brands might still use it.

So is your chardonnay safe? Yes. Serious Eats spoke with Maggie Campbell, a wine and spirits expert, who explained that there are currently no safety regulations around the compound in wines and spirits. Also, it occurs at low levels in wine and is not likely to be inhaled.

Note: If you have concerns about diacetyl in your diet, it is always best to discontinue consumption of suspected foods and beverages and consult a doctor.

The next time you’re craving some late-night popcorn or a nice glass of chardonnay, the flavors may have more in common than you think.

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