Assessment of Grape, Plum and Orange Synthetic Food Flavourings Using in vivo Acute Toxicity Tests

Food Technol Biotechnol. 2017 Mar;55(1):131-137. doi: 10.17113/ftb.


The present study evaluates the acute toxicity of synthetic grape, plum and orange flavourings in root meristem cells of Allium cepa at the doses of 3.5, 7.0 and 14.0 mL/kg and exposure times of 24 and 48 h, and in bone marrow erythrocytes of mice treated orally for seven days with 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 5.0 and 10.0 mL/kg of flavouring. The results of the plant test showed that grape, plum and orange flavourings, at both exposure times, inhibited cell division and promoted the formation of a significant number of micronuclei and mitotic spindle changes. These alterations were observed in at least one exposure time analysed, demonstrating a significant cytotoxic, genotoxic and mutagenic activity. In mouse bioassay, animals treated with 2.0, 5.0 and 10.0 mL/kg of flavouring died before the seventh day of treatment. The amounts of 0.5 and 1.0 mL/kg of the three additives were cytotoxic to erythrocytes, and treatment with the grape flavouring significantly induced the formation of micronucleated cells in the bone marrow of animals. Therefore, under the study conditions, the grape, plum and orange flavouring additives promoted significant toxicity to cells of the test systems used.

Keywords: aroma and flavour additives; cell division; micronucleus; mitotic spindle changes; toxicity.