When buying packaged meat at the supermarket, the test results revealed that microplastics of the absorbent component contained in the moisture-absorbing pad adhere to the surface of the meat with respect to the moisture-absorbing pad that is placed under the meat to prevent blood or moisture from accumulating in the meat.

Ahn Ho-young, a member of the Democratic Party's office, said that as a result of requesting a specialized research institute to inspect three packaged meat samples purchased from large supermarkets in the market, the superabsorbent polymer used as an absorbent for the moisture pad, that is, SAP, was detected on the surface of all three samples.

The Korea Institute of Analytical Sciences, which conducted the test, said that an average of 1.6 milligrams was detected based on 200 grams of meat per serving, which is equivalent to 7,200 pieces of microplastics the thickness of a hair.

In addition to Assemblyman Ahn's office, the absorbent SAP was detected in 5 of the 6 large mart packaged meat samples that the reporters requested to the Cesco Microplastics Research Center.

The moisture-absorbing pad contains SAP in the form of a fine powder, and its use has expanded from being used for diapers and sanitary napkins to food because of its strong absorbing properties.

Although the research on the harmfulness of microplastics with small particles like SAP materials to the human body is just beginning, research results are coming out one after another that they penetrate into the respiratory tract, blood vessels, and organs and cause an immune response or cytotoxicity.

In addition, because of the possibility of mixing of substances of concern in the manufacturing process of SAP, the US FDA has regulations to limit the proportion of toxic substances when using SAP as a food container, but it was confirmed that there is no standard value in Korea.   

Keywords: meat, pad, microplastics, fda, component, sap, surface, respect, test results, supermarket, standard, korea, korea institute of analytical sciences, superabsorbent polymer, moisture