Quantitative Analysis of Ethyl Carbamate in Distillers Grains Co-products and Bovine Plasma by GC-MS

ABSTRACT : Ethyl carbamate (EC) is a fermentation byproduct in foods and beverages and classified as a Group 2A probable human carcinogen. Each year greater than 40 million metric tons of fermentation co-products from the U.S. ethanol industry are fed to food animals. A GC-MS assay was developed to analyze EC extracted from various distillers grains co-products with a limit of detection at 0.7 ng/g. EC was detected in all the distillers grains co-products surveyed in this study. Corn condensed distillers solubles contained the highest level of EC ranging from 1618 to 2956 ng/g. The levels of EC in the semi-solid co-products varied from 17 to 917 ng/g. Cattle fed on these fermentation co-products were found to contain 2-3 ng/mL of EC in blood plasma. No EC was detected in control animal blood plasma. The presence of EC in animal feeds and subsequently in animals may pose an animal health risk.