Artificial butter flavoring

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Artificial butter flavoring may contain diacetyl, acetylpropionyl, or acetoin, three natural compounds in butter that contribute to its characteristic flavor. Because of this, manufacturers of margarines or similar oil-based products typically add diacetyl, acetylpropionyl and acetoin (along with beta carotene for the yellow color) to make the final product butter-flavored, because it would otherwise be relatively tasteless.[1]

Chronic industrial exposure to diacetyl fumes, such as in the microwave popcorn production industry, has been associated with bronchiolitis obliterans, a rare and life-threatening form of non-reversible obstructive lung disease in which the bronchioles (small airway branches) are compressed and narrowed by fibrosis (scar tissue) and/or inflammation.[2][3]


  1. ^ Pavia; et al. (February 2, 2010). Introduction to Organic Laboratory Techniques. p. 186. ISBN 978-1439049327.
  2. ^ Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary > bronchiolitis obliterans Retrieved on August, 2010
  3. ^ Harber P, Saechao K, Boomus C (2006). "Diacetyl-induced lung disease". Toxicol Rev. 25 (4): 261–272. doi:10.2165/00139709-200625040-00006. PMID 17288497. S2CID 42169510.