[Survey of synthetic disinfectants in grapefruit seed extract and its compounded products]

Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi. 2008 Feb;49(1):56-62. doi: 10.3358/shokueishi.49.56.
[Article in Japanese]


Grapefruit seed extract (GSE), derived from the seeds of grapefruit (Citrus paradisi MCAF.), is listed as a natural food additive in Japan. Products containing GSE are used as disinfectants made from only natural sources, especially after Japanese researchers found that GSE prevents the growth of norovirus. On the other hand, recent overseas studies indicated that synthetic disinfectants, such as benzalkonium and benzethonium chlorides, were present in some commercial GSE products. To confirm the quality of commercial GSE products available in Japanese markets, we carried out comprehensive research to identify the major constituents of commercial GSE products which are used as food additives (13 products from 6 manufacturers), dietary supplements (5 products from 4 manufacturers), cosmetic materials (16 products from 10 manufacturers) and disinfectant or deodorant sprays (7 products from 7 manufacturers). By means of NMR and LC/MS analysis, synthetic disinfectants such as benzethonium or benzalkonium salts were detected in most of the commercial GSE products.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Benzalkonium Compounds / analysis
  • Benzethonium / analysis
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • Citrus paradisi / chemistry*
  • Disinfectants / analysis*
  • Food Additives / analysis
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Plant Extracts / analysis
  • Seeds / chemistry*


  • Benzalkonium Compounds
  • Disinfectants
  • Food Additives
  • Plant Extracts
  • Benzethonium