What amount of TBHQ Can Lead You To Death?

What amount of TBHQ Can Lead You To Death?

Who doesn’t like snacks be it either a teenager or an adult who doesn’t like snacks? Mid-day snacks, evening snacks, late-night snacks. Snacking has become part of our lifestyle. And under the difficult circumstances of ‘the lockdown’, we spent months and months in our houses, which was a headache. That took a toll on our eating habits and made us binge eat more. What amount of TBHQ Can Lead You To Death?

And as we all know, the answer to binge eating is packed foods! Chips, biscuits, candies, munchies you name it and the brands have got it. We enjoy these snacks many times a day, but do you know the preservatives they contain can have severe effects on our health? Recently in the study of toxicology tests of packed foods, the results concluded that a chemical commonly used in preservations known as tert-Butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) might negatively impact the immune system, and the grave situation of covid-19 outbreak raises the chance of infection, which may result in death. 

Some unconfirmed articles on the internet say TBHQ contains butane that is, a low toxic colorless gas. But it is not true, it has nothing to do with butane. TBHQ has a tertiary butyl component.


TBHQ – Tertiary Butylhydroquinone is white or slightly beige powder in appearance, which is a synthesized aromatic organic compound, which is a type of phenol and a derivative of hydroquinone. The preferred IUPAC name of is, 2-tert-butylbenzene-1,4-diol. Vastly used for food preservation purposes, which falls in the category of preserving unsaturated vegetable oils and edible animal meats. Its food addictive number is E319.

TBHQ works as an antioxidant that prevents foods to gets oxidized rapidly. The consequences of the oxidation of foods are losing flavors, color, and vitamins, and thus, a decrease in nutritional value. TBHQ or any chemical can’t prevent this from happening but slow down the process so that, food is edible for a longer time.

Widely TBHQ is used to preserve crackers, microwave popcorn, butter, and chicken nuggets. And has limited use in perfumery, in the peroxide industry as a stabilizer, in biodiesel, and is additionally used as oil-field additives in varnishes, lacquers & resins. 


According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), TBHQ is present in almost 1250 processed food products. It was found that the compound has immunotoxin effects in animal studies. However, it is still in the study what effects it is impacting on humans. 

With verified orders from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), TBHQ has been declared safe for use under concentration 0.02% in food items, and 0.01% in cosmetics. But the consumption of packed foods is in our hands, right? It is obvious, that if you consume 10 processed food packets in a single day, the intake of TBHQ with the food increases. And thus, the use of the chemical can be safe and be limited. But, what about the amount of TBHQ one consumes?

TBHQ has been reported to show a negative impact when taken at high doses, but till now there is no severe case to be found. Even if you eat 5kg of a single food product, you can do the math that is only a few grams of TBHQ. In a study, it was confirmed the high toxicity levels of TBHQ are irrelevant. Though TBHQ is known to be banned in some countries like Japan. Where on the other hand, there are countries that exceed the acceptable daily intake of TBHQ like Australia, China, and the UK. 


TBHQ reflecting a bad impact on health yet, there is no real evidence to claim by the amount of any certain limit or limitless consumption leads to severe diseases, and death. Thus, there may have a chance to disrupt your healthy body, and packed foods aren’t ideal for a healthy lifestyle. However, till now TBHQ is not an evil chemical. 


1. How TBHQ affects the body?

It is known to find TBHQ has an impact on immunity. Further, the indigestion of TBHQ can cause nausea, vomiting, delirium, and a sense of suffocation. Some accuse TBHQ to be a cancerous agent but there is no proof. 

2. TBHQ is banned in Japan but doesn’t Ramen have TBHQ?

In consideration of MSG and TBHQ, they are present in instant ramen noodles. But there is no reliable information to say Japan ramen noodles do or don’t contain TBHQ. 

3. Consuming 312 chicken nuggets in a day can kill you?

First, talking about the subsidiary number ‘312’ chicken nuggets. Someone posted about a calculative process that mentioned 312 chicken nuggets is equal to 5g of TBHQ which can kill you. Well, the second thing is any fast food or packed food item consumed at such a high rate can make you sick. It won’t kill you but surely, be the reason for you to be in bed for days.  

What amount of TBHQ Can Lead You To Death?

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