Effects of the popular food additive sodium benzoate on neural tube development in the chicken embryo

Turk Neurosurg. 2015;25(2):294-7. doi: 10.5137/1019-5149.JTN.12551-14.2.

Abstract

Aim: Many more additives have been introduced with the development of processed foods. Neural tube defects are congenital malformations of the central nervous system. More than 300 000 children are born with neural tube defects every year and surviving children remain disabled for life. Sodium benzoate is used intensively in our daily lives. We therefore aimed to evaluate the effects of sodium benzoate on neural tube defects in chicken embryos.

Material and methods: Fertile, specific pathogen-free eggs were used. The study was conducted on five groups. After 30 hours of incubation, the eggs were opened under 4x optical magnification. The embryonic disc was identified and sodium benzoate solution was injected. Eggs were closed with sterile adhesive strips and incubation was continued till the end of the 72nd hour. All eggs were then reopened and embryos were dissected from embryonic membranes and evaluated histopathologically.

Results: We found that the development of all embryos was consistent with the stage. We detected neural tube obstruction in one embryo. Neural tube defects were not detected in any embryos.

Conclusion: This study showed that sodium benzoate as one of the widely used food preservatives has no effect to neural tube defect development in chicken embryos even at high doses.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chick Embryo
  • Chickens
  • Embryonic Development / drug effects*
  • Food Additives / adverse effects
  • Food Additives / pharmacology*
  • Humans
  • Neural Tube / abnormalities
  • Neural Tube / drug effects*
  • Neural Tube / embryology
  • Neural Tube Defects / chemically induced
  • Neural Tube Defects / pathology
  • Sodium Benzoate / adverse effects
  • Sodium Benzoate / pharmacology*

Substances

  • Food Additives
  • Sodium Benzoate