Levels of Phthalate Acid Esters in Carbonated Soft Drinks Bottled in Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottles Kept under Various Storage Conditions in Mwanza City, Tanzania

Mrema, Evarist E. *

Department of Food Science and Agro-Processing, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania.

Chaula, D. N

Department of Food Science and Agro-Processing, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania.

Chove, B. E

Department of Food Science and Agro-Processing, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Background: Carbonated soft drinks (CSD), packaged in PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles, are among the most widely consumed non-alcoholic beverage globally. People of all ages enjoy CSDs for their flavour, mouthfeel, crispness, freshness, and capacity to both quench thirst and provide mental refreshment. Terephthalic acid, ethylene glycol, and other additives such as phthalates are the materials used to make these PET bottles. Several studies have demonstrated that phthalates may migrate into packaged goods and, when consumed, can cause several ill-health conditions to humans. Type II diabetes, obesity, asthma, male and female reproductive disorders, tumours (including breast cancer), pituitary, hypothalamic, and peripheral hormone disorders, behavioral issues, and neurodevelopmental disorders are among the health issues reported to be associated with phthalates.

Objective: This study aimed to ascertain the presence and concentration of phthalates in PET bottled carbonated soft drinks produced in Mwanza City, and to examine the effects of various storage conditions on the migration of these contaminants into the product.

Methods: Liquid-liquid extraction, clean-up techniques, and chromatographic analysis were used as the methods of determination to identify and quantify the specific phthalates compounds.

Results: The findings demonstrated that after being stored outdoors for four to six months, the migration, especially for dibutyl phthalate (DBP) and di [2-ethylhexyl] phthalate (DEHP), became more apparent. After two, four, and six months of indoor storage, there was no appreciable change in the mean concentrations of DMP (dimethyl phthalate), DEP (diethyl phthalate), DBP (dibutyl phthalate), and DEHP for either brand in this study. Compared to indoor storage, the DBP and DEHP migration increased by up to 24-fold when the two brands were kept outdoors for four and six months. Thus, the safety and quality of carbonated soft drinks were seriously compromised by the phthalate compounds from the PET bottles that these companies were using.

Conclusion: The study's conclusions show that PET packaging, which is influenced by the bottle manufacturing process and raw material formulations for packages of the studied CSDs, are responsible for the migration of phthalates into the products. The storage conditions and time are established to be the primary causes of phthalates migration in bottled carbonated soft drinks. Though the migration figures in this study are lower than those of the other studies from different locations that were compared, it is important to remember that these compounds may interfere with hormones even in small quantities.

Keywords: Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), carbonated soft drinks, phthalate esters, migration, storage time and storage condition

How to Cite

Mrema, Evarist E., Chaula, D. N, & Chove, B. E. (2024). Levels of Phthalate Acid Esters in Carbonated Soft Drinks Bottled in Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) Bottles Kept under Various Storage Conditions in Mwanza City, Tanzania. Asian Journal of Chemical Sciences, 14(2), 58–73. https://doi.org/10.9734/ajocs/2024/v14i2294


Download data is not yet available.


Sarwar Nazmul, Akther Shireen, Ahmed Taslima, Nazira-Sharmin K, Ahmad Monsu R, Hossain M, Alam M. Determination of major constituents in commercial brands of carbonated soft drinks. Europea Academic Research. 2016;4:5029-5043.

Abu-Reidah IM. Carbonated Beverages. Trends in Non-alcoholic Beverages. 2020; 1-36.

Quinlan JJ, Furgang A. The truth behind soft drinks. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc; 2017.

Azeredo DR, Alvarenga V, Sant'Ana AS, Srur AUS. An overview of microorganisms and factors contributing for the microbial stability of carbonated soft drinks. Food Research International. 2016;82:136-144.

Helix Strategy; 2023 Available:https://strategyh.com/report/carbonated-soft-drinks-market-in-tanzania-2021/ Access on 09th October 2023.

Pang J, Zheng M, Sun R, Wang A, Wang X, Zhang T. Synthesis of ethylene glycol and terephthalic acid from biomass for producing PET. Green Chemistry. 2016; 18(2):342-359.

Benyathiar P, Kumar P, Carpenter G, Brace J, Mishra DK. Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) bottle-to-bottle recycling for the beverage industry: A Review. Polymers. 2022;14(12):2366.

Ambrogi V, Carfagna C, Cerruti P, Marturano V. Additives in polymers. In Modification of polymer properties. William Andrew Publishing. 2017;87-108.

Godwin AD. Plasticizers. In Applied plastics engineering handbook. William Andrew Publishing. 2017;533-553.

Salazar-Beltrán D, Hinojosa-Reyes L, Ruiz-Ruiz E, Hernández-Ramírez A, Guzmán-Mar JL. Phthalates in beverages and plastic bottles: Sample preparation and determination. Food Analytical Methods. 2018;11(1):48-61.

Alamri MS, Qasem AA, Mohamed AA, Hussain S, Ibraheem MA, Shamlan G, Qasha AS. Food packaging’s materials: A food safety perspective. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences. 2021;28(8):4490-4499.

Zaki G, Shoeib T. Concentrations of several phthalates contaminants in Egyptian bottled water: Effects of storage conditions and estimate of human exposure. Science of the Total Environment. 2018;618:142-150.

Giuliani A, Zuccarini M, Cichelli A, Khan H, Reale M. Critical review on the presence of phthalates in food and evidence of their biological impact. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020;17(16):5655.

Moazzen M, Mahvi AH, Shariatifar N, Jahed Khaniki G, Nazmara S, Alimohammadi M, Norouzian Baghani A. Determination of phthalate acid esters (PAEs) in carbonated soft drinks with MSPE/GC–MS method. Toxin Reviews. 2018;37(4):319-326.

Wang Y, Qian H. Phthalates and their impacts on human health. In Healthcare. MDPI. 2021;9(5):603.

Hlisníková H, Petrovičová I, Kolena B, Šidlovská M, Sirotkin A. Effects and mechanisms of phthalates’ action on reproductive processes and reproductive health: a literature review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020;17(18):6811.

Yesumanipreethi S, Nirmal Magadalenal N, Moses Inbaraj R. Impact of phthalates and parabens on the neurobehavioral and reproductive function: A review. In Proceedings of the Zoological Society. New Delhi: Springer India. 2021;74(4): 572-590.

Mwanza region official website; 2022 Available:https://mwanza.go.tz/industries-and-trade Access on 27th September 2022.

Ayofe NA, Oladoye PO, Jegede DO. Extraction and quantification of phthalates in plastic coca-cola soft drinks using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). Chem. Int. 2018;4(2):85.

Ustun I, Sungur S, Okur R, Sumbul AT, Oktar S, Yilmaz N, Gokce C. Determination of phthalates migrating from plastic containers into beverages. Food Analytical Methods. 2015;8:222-228.

Net S, Delmont A, Sempéré R, Paluselli A, Ouddane B. Reliable quantification of phthalates in environmental matrices (air, water, sludge, sediment and soil): A review. Science of the Total Environment. 2015;515:162-180.

Scientific T. Matrix Spiking—Why Spike and How to Do It. Environmental & Process Instruments Division; 2011.

Salazar-Beltrán D, Hinojosa-Reyes L, Palomino-Cabello C, Turnes-Palomino G, Hernández-Ramírez A, Guzmán-Mar JL. Determination of phthalate acid esters plasticizers in polyethylene terephthalate bottles and its correlation with some physicochemical properties. Polymer Testing. 2018;68:87-94.

ISO 18856:2004(E) Water quality — Determination of selected phthalates using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

Chen M, Tao L, Collins EM, Austin C, Lu C. Simultaneous determination of multiple phthalate metabolites and bisphenol-A in human urine by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectrometry. Journal of Chromatography B. 2012;904:73-80.

Serrano SE, Braun J, Trasande L, Dills R, Sathyanarayana S. Phthalates and diet: A review of the food monitoring and epidemiology data. Environmental Health. 2014;13:1-14.

Yin S, Yang Y, Yang D, Li Y, Jiang Y, Wu L, Sun C. Determination of 11 phthalate esters in beverages by magnetic solid-phase extraction combined with high-performance liquid chromatography. Journal of AOAC International. 2019; 102(5):1624-1631.

Rastkari N, Zare Jeddi M, Yunesian M, Ahmadkhaniha R. The effect of storage time, temperature and type of packaging on the release of phthalate esters into packed acidic liquids. Food Technology and Biotechnology. 2017;55(4):562- 569.

Isci G, Dagdemir E. Human health risk assessment of phthalate esters and antimony levels in beverages packaged in polyethylene terephthalate under different storage conditions. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 2023; 105922.

Shah SI, Nosheen S, Abbas M, Khan AM, Fatima A. Determination of Phthalate Esters in Beverages and Milk Using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC). Polish Journal of Environmental Studies; 2023.

EU. Commission Regulation (EU) No 10/2011 of 14 January 2011 on plastic

materials and articles intended to come in contact with food. Official Journal of

the European Commission; 2011.

Evarist EM, DNC, BE C. Levels of phthalate acid esters in drinking water bottled in PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate) and PC (Polycarbonates) Bottles-stored under Different Storage Conditions in Mwanza City, Tanzania. Chemical Science International Journal. 2024;33(2):11-24.

Wu PG, Pan XD, Ma BJ, Wang LY, Zhang J. Determination of phthalate esters in non-alcoholic beverages by GC–MS and optimization of the extraction conditions. European Food Research and Technology. 2014;238:607-612.