An assessment of the safety of tocopherols as food additives

Food Chem Toxicol. 1986 Oct-Nov;24(10-11):1051-61. doi: 10.1016/0278-6915(86)90288-7.


This paper is a critical review of data relevant to the safety of tocopherols as food additives. Tocopherols are considered from the standpoint of their chemical-physical properties, occurrence in nature and use in commercial products. Dietary intake and kinetic and metabolic data, as well as biological activity and interactions with other vitamins, are also examined. The subjects discussed include acute, subchronic and chronic toxicity data, reproduction and teratogenesis studies, and observations in humans following high intakes of tocopherols. On the basis of the comprehensive experimental and clinical data available on alpha-tocopherol, the chemical and biological similarity of the alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols and the information available on the levels of tocopherols used as food antioxidants, it is concluded that tocopherols are safe food additives.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Food Additives*
  • Humans
  • Safety
  • Vitamin E* / adverse effects
  • Vitamin E* / metabolism
  • Vitamin E* / toxicity


  • Food Additives
  • Vitamin E