The food production process is far from perfect. Substances unintentionally present in food - known as contaminants - are often detected. Some contamination results directly from mistakes in processing and transportation, and it can also occur from presence of substances in the environment - from pollution as well as the use of agrochemicals and pesticides. These substances are often harmful to the humans who ingest them, and steps need to be taken to minimize the presence of these contaminants.
In a comprehensive analysis on the prevalence of highly-fluorinated chemicals in fast food packaging in the United States, researchers tested more than 400 samples from 27 fast food chains throughout the country. The samples, consisting of paper wrappers, paperboard, and drink containers, were analyzed for a class of chemicals called PFASs - per and polyfluoroalkyl substances - also known as PFCs. These highly-fluorinated chemicals are widely used in an array of nonstick, stain-resistant, and waterproof products, including carpeting, cookware, outdoor apparel and food packaging.
food additives food chemicals food packaging highly fluorinated chemicals polyfluoroalkyl substances