Search for Author, Title, Keyword
Microplastics in a Traditional Turkish Dairy Product: Ayran
More details
Hide details
Department of Food Hygiene and Technology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, İstanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, 34320 Avcılar, İstanbul, Turkey
Graduate Education Institute, İstanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, 34320 Avcılar, İstanbul, Turkey
Submission date: 2022-10-26
Acceptance date: 2023-04-05
Online publication date: 2023-05-05
Publication date: 2023-05-05
Corresponding author
Karlo Muratoglu   

Department of Food Hygiene and Technology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, İstanbul University-Cerrahpaşa, Turkey
Pol. J. Food Nutr. Sci. 2023;73(2):139–150
Ingestion of microplastic particles (MP) through food has been associated with a multitude of health problems in humans. Although ayran is a traditional and nutritious Turkish beverage, the impact of microplastic pollution is unknown. This study examined the incidence of microplastic pollution on ayran by collecting samples throughout the production processes and the ingredients used to make ayran, including water, salt, cream, starting culture, cups, and lastly, the ayran. Optical and scanning electron microscope was applied for MP visualisation and measurement, and Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) for polymer identification. Microplastics were detected in all examined filters except for the starter culture samples. The samples with the highest MP number were salty water (43 MP number/100 mL), salt (33 MP number/100 g), and milk samples taken from homogenization and pasteurization phases (26 MP number/100 mL). Additionally, 18 MP number/100 mL contamination was detected in the last product ayran. MP with a size range of 1–150 µm prevailed (37.38%). Ethylene propylene was the most frequently identified polymer in samples (39.30%). The findings of this study can help provide an overview of microplastic contamination in dairy production facilities and the potential human health risks associated with this microplastic exposure.
This study was funded by the Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit of İstanbul University-Cerrahpaşa. Project number: TDK-2021-35711.
The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.
Allan, J., Belz, S., Hoeveler, A., Hugas, M., Okuda, H., Patri, A., Rauscher, H., Silva, P., Slikker, W., Sokull-Kluettgen B., Tong, W., Anklam, E. (2021). Regulatory landscape of nanotechnology and nanoplastics from a global perspective. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 122, art. no. 104885.
Andrady, A.L. (2017). The plastic in microplastics: A review. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 119(1), 12–22.
Britz, T., Robinson, R.K. (2008). Advanced Dairy Science and Technology. 1st edition. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, Oxford, UK.
Caramia, M., Guerriero, F. (2010). A milk collection problem with incompatibility constraints. INFORMS Journal on Applied Analytics, 40(2), 130–143.
Chae, D.-H., Kim, I.-S., Kim, S.-K., Song, Y.K., Shim, W.J. (2015). Abundance and distribution characteristics of microplastics in surface seawaters of the Incheon/Kyeonggi coastal region. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, 69(3), 269–278.
Chang, X., Xue, Y., Li, J., Zou, L., Tang, M. (2020). Potential health impact of environmental micro‐ and nanoplastics pollution. Journal of Applied Toxicology, 40(1), 4–15.
Chen, G., Feng, Q., Wang, J. (2020). Mini-review of microplastics in the atmosphere and their risks to humans. Science of The Total Environment, 703, art. no. 135504.
Cox, K.D., Covernton, G.A., Davies, H.L., Dower, J.F., Juanes, F., Dudas, S.E. (2019). Human consumption of microplastics. Environmental Science and Technology, 53(12), 7068–7074.
Da Costa Filho, P.A., Andrey, D., Eriksen, B., Peixoto, R.P., Carreres, B.M., Ambühl, M.E., Descarrega, J.B., Dubascoux, S., Zbinden, P., Panchaud, A., Poitevin, E. (2021). Detection and characterization of small-sized microplastics (≥ 5 µm) in milk products. Scientific Reports, 11(1), art. no. 24046.
Diaz-Basantes, M.F., Conesa, J.A., Fullana, A. (2020). Microplastics in honey, beer, milk and refreshments in Ecuador as emerging contaminants. Sustainability, 12(14), art. no. 5514.
Dick Vethaak, A., Leslie, H.A. (2016). Plastic debris is a human health issue. Environmental Science and Technology, 50(13), 6825–6826.
Dris, R., Gasperi, J., Saad, M., Mirande, C., Tassin, B. (2016). Synthetic fibers in atmospheric fallout: A source of microplastics in the environment? Marine Pollution Bulletin, 140(1–2), 290–293.
Dubaish, F., Liebezeit, G. (2013). Suspended microplastics and black carbon particles in the Jade system, southern North Sea. Water, Air, and Soil Pollution, 224(2), art. no. 1352.
EFSA Panel on Contaminants in the Food Chain (CONTAM) (2016). Presence of microplastics and nanoplastics in food, with particular focus on seafood. EFSA Journal, 14(6), art. no. e04501.
Fan, C., Huang, Y.-Z., Lin, J.-N., Li, J. (2021). Microplastic constituent identification from admixtures by Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy: The use of polyethylene terephthalate (PET), polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and nylon (NY) as the model constituents. Environmental Technology and Innovation, 23, art. no. 101798.
Fournier, E., Etienne-Mesmin, L., Grootaert, C., Jelsbak, L., Syberg, K., Blanquet-Diot, S., Mercier-Bonin, M. (2021). Microplastics in the human digestive environment: A focus on the potential and challenges facing in vitro gut model development. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 415, art. no. 125632.
Frias, J.P.G.L., Nash, R. (2019). Microplastics: Finding a consensus on the definition. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 138, 145–147.
Gündoğdu, S. (2018). Contamination of table salts from Turkey with microplastics. Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A, 35(5), 1006–1014.
Huang, Y., Chapman, J., Deng, Y., Cozzolino, D. (2020). Rapid measurement of microplastic contamination in chicken meat by mid infrared spectroscopy and chemometrics: A feasibility study. Food Control, 113, art. no. 107187.
Hwang, J., Choi, D., Han, S., Jung, S.Y., Choi, J., Hong, J. (2020). Potential toxicity of polystyrene microplastic particles. Scientific Reports, 10(1), art. no. 7391.
Kannan, K., Vimalkumar, K. (2021). A review of human exposure to microplastics and insights into microplastics as obesogens. Frontiers in Endocrinology, 12, art. no. 724989.
Kedzierski, M., Lechat, B., Sire, O., Le Maguer, G., Le Tilly, V., Bruzaud, S. (2020). Microplastic contamination of packaged meat: Occurrence and associated risks. Food Packaging and Shelf Life, 24, art. no. 100489.
Kosuth, M., Mason, S.A., Wattenberg, E.V. (2018). Anthropogenic contamination of tap water, beer, and sea salt. PLoS One, 13(4), art. no. e0194970.
Kumar, P., Sharma, N., Ranjan, R., Kumar, S., Bhat, Z.F., Jeong, D.K. (2013). Perspective of membrane technology in dairy industry: A review. Asian-Australasian Journal of Animal Sciences, 26(9), 1347–1358.
Kutralam-Muniasamy, G., Pérez-Guevara, F., Elizalde-Martínez. I., Shruti, V.C. (2020). Branded milks – are they immune from microplastics contamination? Science of The Total Environment, 714, art. no. 136823.
Li, D., Shi, Y., Yang, L., Xiao, L., Kehoe, D.K., Gun’ko, Y.K., Boland, J.J., Wang, J.J. (2020). Microplastic release from the degradation of polypropylene feeding bottles during infant formula preparation. Nature Food, 1, 746–754.
Liebezeit, G., Liebezeit, E. (2013). Non-pollen particulates in honey and sugar. Food Additives Contaminants: Part A, 30(12), 2136–2140.
Liebezeit, G., Liebezeit, E. (2015). Origin of synthetic particles in honeys. Polish Journal of Food and Nutrition Sciences, 65(2), 143–147.
Lopes, A.C., Stamford, T.L. (1997). Critical control points in the pasteurized milk processing fluxogram. Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutrición, 47(4), 367–371 (in Portuguese, English abstract).
Lu, L., Wan, Z., Luo, T., Fu, Z., Jin, Y. (2018). Polystyrene microplastics induce gut microbiota dysbiosis and hepatic lipid metabolism disorder in mice. Science of The Total Environment, 631–632, 449–458.
Mariano, S., Tacconi, S., Fidaleo, M., Rossi, M., Dini, L. (2021). Micro and nanoplastics identification: Classic methods and innovative detection techniques. Frontiers in Toxicology, 3, art. no. 636640.
Mason, S.A., Welch, V.G., Neratko, J. (2018). Synthetic polymer contamination in bottled water. Frontiers in Chemistry, 6, art. no. 407.
Millburn, P., Smith, R.L., Williams, R.T. (1967). Biliary excretion of foreign compounds. Biphenyl, stilboestrol and phenolphthalein in the rat: Molecular weight, polarity and metabolism as factors in biliary excretion. Biochemical Journal, 105(3), 1275–1281.
Nady, N. (2016). PES surface modification using green chemistry: New generation of antifouling membranes. Membranes, 6(2), art. no. 23.
Nuelle, M.-T., Dekiff, J.H., Remy, D., Fries, E. (2014). A new analytical approach for monitoring microplastics in marine sediments. Environmental Pollution, 184, 161–169.
Oßmann, B.E., Sarau, G., Holtmannspötter, H., Pischetsrieder, M., Christiansen, S.H., Dicke, W. (2018). Small-sized microplastics and pigmented particles in bottled mineral water. Water Research, 141, 307–316.
Pérez-Guevara, F., Roy, P.D., Elizalde-Martínez, I., Kutralam-Muniasamy, G., Shruti, V.C. (2022). Human exposure to microplastics from urban decentralized pay-to-fetch drinking-water refill kiosks. Science of The Total Environment, 848, art. no. 157722.
Pouliot, Y. (2008). Membrane processes in dairy technology — From a simple idea to worldwide panacea. International Dairy Journal, 18(7), 735–740.
Pouzada, A.S. (2021). Development of plastic products. In A.S. Pouzada (Ed) Design and Manufacturing of Plastics Products: Integrating Traditional Methods with Additive Manufacturing. 1st edition. William Andrew, Elsevier, Massachusetts, USA, pp. 10-45.
Prietl, B., Meindl, C., Roblegg, E., Pieber, T.R., Lanzer, G., Fröhlich, E. (2014). Nano-sized and micro-sized polystyrene particles affect phagocyte function. Cell Biology and Toxicology, 30(1), 1–16.
Qiang, L., Cheng, J., Mirzoyan, S., Kerkhof, L.J., Häggblom, M.M. (2021). Characterization of microplastic-associated biofilm development along a freshwater-estuarine gradient. Environmental Science and Technology, 55(24), 16402–16412.
Ragusa, A., Svelato, A., Santacroce, C., Catalano, P., Notarstefano, V., Carnevali, O., Papa, F., Rongioletti, M.C.A., Baiocco, F., Draghi, S., D'Amore, E., Rinaldo, D., Matta, M., Giorgini, E. (2021). Plasticenta: First evidence of microplastics in human placenta. Environment International, 146, art. no. 106274.
Rodriguez-Seijo A., Pereira R. (2017). In T.A. Rocha-Santos, A.C. Duarte (Eds) Characterization and Analysis of Microplastics. 1st edition. Elsevier, Massachusetts, USA, pp. 49-66.
Schymanski, D., Goldbeck, C., Humpf, H.-U., Fürst, P. (2018). Analysis of microplastics in water by micro-Raman spectroscopy: Release of plastic particles from different packaging into mineral water. Water Research, 129, 154–162.
Shruti, V.C., Pérez-Guevara, F., Elizalde-Martínez, I., Kutralam-Muniasamy, G. (2020). First study of its kind on the microplastic contamination of soft drinks, cold tea and energy drinks – Future research and environmental considerations. Science of The Total Environment, 726, art. no. 138580.
Sojka, R.E., Bjorneberg, D.L., Entry, J.A., Lentz, R.D., Orts, W.J. (2007). Polyacrylamide in agriculture and environmental land management. Advances in Agronomy, 92, 75–162.
Song, K., Ding, R., Sun, C., Yao, L., Zhang, W. (2021). Microparticles and microplastics released from daily use of plastic feeding and water bottles and plastic injectors: potential risks to infants and children in China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 28(42), 59813–59820.
Street, M.E., Bernasconi, S. (2021). Microplastics, environment and child health. Italian Journal of Pediatrics, 47(1), art. no. 75.
Tan, X., Rodrigue, D. (2019). A review on porous polymeric membrane preparation. Part II: Production techniques with polyethylene, polydimethylsiloxane, polypropylene, polyimide, and polytetrafluoroethylene. Polymers, 11(8), art. no. 1310.
TNG (Turkey Nutrition Guide) (2015). Ministry of Health Public Health Agency of Turkey, Ankara, Turkey ISBN: 978-975-590-608-9.
Tomasula, P.M., Bonnaillie, L.M. (2015). Crossflow Microfiltration in the Dairy Industry. In N. Datta, P. Tomasula (Eds.), Emerging Dairy Processing Technologies, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Chichester, UK, pp. 1–32.
Toussaint, B., Raffael, B., Angers-Loustau, A., Gilliland, D., Kestens, V., Petrillo, M., Rio-Echevarria, I.M., Van den Eede, G. (2019). Review of micro- and nanoplastic contamination in the food chain. Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A, 36(5), 639–673.
TSI (2013). TS 6800 Ayran. Turkish Standards Institution, 5ss, Ankara, Turkey.
Walstra, P., Wouters, J.T.M., Geurts, T.J. (2005). Processes. In P. Walstra., J.T.M. Wouters, T.J. Geurts (Eds), Dairy Science and Technology. 2nd edition, CRC Press Inc., Boca Raton, Florida, USA, pp. 207-417.
Waring, R.H., Harris, R.M., Mitchell, S.C. (2018). Plastic contamination of the food chain: A threat to human health? Maturitas, 115, 64–68.
Wang, W., Ndungu, A.W., Li, Z., Wang, J. (2017). Microplastics pollution in inland freshwaters of China: A case study in urban surface waters of Wuhan, China. Science of The Total Environment, 575, 1369–1374.
Wiesheu, A.C., Anger, P.M., Baumann, T., Niessner, R., Ivleva, N.P. (2016). Raman microspectroscopic analysis of fibers in beverages. Analytical Methods, 8(28), 5722–5725.
Yang, B., Lee, C., Xiang, W., Xie, J., He, J.H., Kotlanka, R.K., Low, S.P., Feng, H. (2009). Electromagnetic energy harvesting from vibrations of multiple frequencies. Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 19(3), art. no. 035001.
Yong, C.Q.Y., Valiyaveettil, S., Tang, B.L. (2020). Toxicity of microplastics and nanoplastics in mammalian systems. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 17(5), art. no. 1509.
Biodegradability of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polystyrene (PS) microplastics by floc-forming bacteria, Bacillus cereus strain SHBF2 isolated from a commercial aquafarm
Shahadat Hossain, Zuhayra Shukri, Khor Waiho, Yusof Ibrahim, Amyra Kamaruzzan, Ahmad Rahim, Ahmad Draman, Wahidah Wahab, Helena Khatoon, Nor Kasan