Novel approach on the risk assessment of oxidized fats and oils for perspectives of food safety and quality. I. Oxidized fats and oils induces neurotoxicity relating pica behavior and hypoactivity

Food Chem Toxicol. 2006 Apr;44(4):493-8. doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2005.08.023. Epub 2005 Oct 25.


Food poisoning caused by deteriorated fat and oil in instant noodles was first reported in Japan approximately 40 years ago. In these cases, many people developed neurotoxic symptoms such as emesis and discomfort. The degree of oxidation of the fat and oil in the instant noodles that induced food poisoning was at least 100 meq/kg in peroxide value (PV). No general toxicity studies with animals, however, have examined the toxicity of fat and oil oxidized to that extent. In this study, pica behavior, a behavior characterized by eating a nonfood material such as kaolin and that relates to the degree of discomfort in animals, and alterations of locomotor activity of rats eating deteriorated fat and oil were measured. The groups fed fat and oil with at least 138.5 meq/kg PV consumed significantly more kaolin compared to the control group. Furthermore, rats that ate deteriorated fat and oil with at least 107.2 meq/kg PV had significantly decreased locomotor activity compared to control rats. These phenomena suggest that oxidized fat and oil with at least 100 meq/kg PV induce neurotoxicity. The toxicity of oxidized fat and oil has only been addressed using general toxicity tests, but the present results reveal the importance of evaluating toxicity by using other measures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Dietary Fats / analysis
  • Dietary Fats / toxicity*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Foodborne Diseases*
  • Locomotion
  • Male
  • Neurotoxicity Syndromes
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Pica
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Risk Assessment
  • Toxicity Tests


  • Dietary Fats