Measuring Diacetyl in Air with 2,4 DNPH Tubes

Martin Perkins

27th March 2012


Butter flavourings are popular with consumers of popcorn

Last week, we organised a couple of “Technology Days” so that we could show customers some of our newest offerings and a few things that we have coming-up in the near future.

Craig Duckham was one of the attendees. Craig is an old friend of Anatune, a highly skilled analyst, now working as an independent analytical consultant to the food and beverage industry.

One of the things that we showed on the day was our new automated system for the analysis of formaldehyde and other carbonyl compounds in air. Craig drew our attention to the possibility of using the system for the determination of diacetyl in air.

Diacetyl (2,3-butanedione) is a naturally occurring flavour compound and one of the chemicals responsible for giving a “buttery” flavour to foods. It has been used for many years as a flavouring agent by the food ingredients industry. However, excessive exposure airborne diacetyl is now known to contribute to a serious respiratory condition, known as “popcorn workers lung”, that can afflict some workers in the food processing industry.

If there is a need for an automated solution for this analysis, then there is a reasonable chance that our automated formaldehyde system could be set-up to do it.

So, my questions are:

  1. Who needs to analyse diacetyl in air?
  2. Who runs enough samples to make it worthwhile developing an automated solution for this analysis?
  3. Would anyone be interested in discussing this application with Craig and I?

If so please drop me an email via:, or phone me on +44( 0)1223 279210.

Craig can be contacted via email on: or by phone on +44
(0)7530 859977.