There are many conflicting reports that either claim that Mate has carcinogenic substances while others state that Mate consumption helps prevent cancer. The only statistical relationship between consumption of mate and cancer is in the context of thermo-inguries caused by using over-heated water. It is a fact that the higher anti-oxidant capacities from Mate helps the organism to fight the free radicals which help in cancer prevention, but on the other hand, many studies report the presence of cancerous PAHs (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) in Mate.
Although we always advise customers to avoid overheating their mate water to prevent burning their esophogas while drinking mate, as Germany and the US have no minimum or maximum limits for PAH levels in Mate, we decided to pursue the matter with regulation agencies, in order to ensure that Mate drinkers are not at risk. Since the German State Department for researching risks (Bundes Agentur für Forschung und Risiko) only acts upon instructions from the government, the ‘Mate Lobby’ networked with the Pirate representatives in Berlin and we proposed an initiative through Liquid Feedback to state the limits of benzo (a) pyrene substances in drinks. This proposal was adopted by the Coalition in the Berlin City Council at the end of October 2013.
The proposal can be read here: http://www.parlament-berlin.de/ados/17/Recht/vorgang/r17-0137-v.pdf
As responsible producers, we want to ensure that our consumers can make informed decisions about their beverage preferences. Frohlunder UG voluntarily tested the PAH levels in their MunterMate and found negligible traces in the drink. In 2012 we did a study and conducted a series of tests with Beuthe University Master’s student Anne Theime to shed light on what causes Mate to be cancerous by comparing many Mate samples that were harvested and processed under different conditions.
In order to analyze the carcinogenic substances in Mate we created a project to help to finance the lab tests that will analyze the PAH levels in the different Mate samples. http://www.inkubato.com/en/projekte/Mate_research
The results revealed that although Mate’s PAH content is minimal in comparison to oysters, drinking mate the traditional way, with a cuia and bomba is preferable to steeping mate in water for extended periods, as when preparing teas We also tested a frozen dried Mate that showed the most favourable results in comparison to all mates on the market.
For those wishing to drink the purest, PAH-free mate, try Meta Mate Raw
Those wishing to delve deeper into the subject can contact us or read the report below.