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Analysis of Metal Levels in Bronze-cut Pasta on the UK Market


In October 2020 the Food Standards Agency was approached with concerns as to the use of brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) in contact with pasta dough during the manufacture of Italian dried “bronze-cut” pasta. It was suggested that the brass used in such pasta dies could contain and leach lead and thus be contrary to the legislation for food contact materials. In response to this the Food Standards Agency commissioned a small survey of randomly selected bronze-cut pasta to investigate whether this was a problem. Pasta samples were analysed for their lead, cadmium, copper and zinc content. Whilst lead was detected in a few samples these were only very slightly above the limit of detection. The maximum levels found for all the metals tested for are not considered a cause for concern.