Ethyl carbamate (EC), sometimes called urethane, is a naturally occurring compound in fermented foods and alcoholic beverages, and a known carcinogen. In many cases ethyl carbamate is formed by the reaction between cyanate and ethanol, though this is not the only means by which it forms. While it’s not possible to prevent the formation of any ethyl carbamate entirely, it is possible to minimise it through employing good manufacturing practices. To support your production procedure, the leading food safety scientists at Fera can provide accurate information on the residues present, down to a reporting limit of 5 µg/l.
Fera can analyse your samples for the presence of ethyl carbamate using our state-of-the-art gas chromatography suite, and accurately quantify where present.
Examples of foodstuffs where EC may be present include: bread, yoghurt, wine, beer and stone fruit spirits. Spirits made from stone fruits are even more susceptible, as ethyl carbamate can be formed from cyanogenic glycosides that are naturally present in the stones, this poses a risk if stones are broken when the fruit is mashed.
Alcoholic beverages contain the highest amounts of ethyl carbamate, and in the EU commission recommendation (EU) 2016/22 deals with the prevention and reduction of ethyl carbamate contamination of stone fruit spirits and stone fruit marc spirits. Code of practice, CAC/RCP 70-2011, sets out a target level for ethyl carbamate of 1 mg/L, Fera’s reporting limit of 5µg/l is considerably lower than this so will provide highly accurate analysis.
When submitting your sample please include the food sample submission form to allow us to process your samples efficiently. Failure to send a sample submission form may result in a delay of your sample being tested.
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