By Joe Ayling

Danone has admitted it is investigating the reported contamination of a bottle of Volvic in the UK market. The French company insists, however, that potentially harmful chemicals are not used in the bottling process.

Danone is investigating complaints from a customer who stated there was a strong chemical taste in her bottle of premium mineral water. Mother of two Lauri Pastrone, 44 from north London, informed the Food Standards Agency of her concerns before appearing on the BBC's Working Lunch programme.

The drinks manufacturer said yesterday (24 October) that this was an isolated incident and although there have been no further problems with this particular batch, remaining samples would be checked.

The chemical was identified by laboratory tests as naphthalene - derived from coal tar or petroleum.

A spokesperson for Danone said: "Naphthalene could have penetrated the plastic after it left the factory at some point in delivery or storage.

"This has happened in past cases the company has experienced."

Naphthalene, which is used in manufacturing dyes, moth repellents, explosives and as a solvent, can cause liver damage in high doses. There is a suggestion from Danone that contamination may have occurred due to 'inappropriate storage'.

The Daily Mail claims two bottles of Volvic have been found to contain naphthalene.