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Chapter 22

PHAR 100 Chapter Notes - Chapter 22: Amaranth (Dye), World Health Organization, Food Additive

Pharmacology and Toxicology
Course Code
PHAR 100
Bill Racz

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Lesson E4: Food Additives
- State the rationale for using food additives
- List the problem associated with the toxicological evaluation of food additive
- State the principles regarding food additives as enunciated by the World Health
- Recognize the major classes of food additives and be able to state their function and
potential risk to human health
Food Additives
- Substances that are added to food to improve appearance, texture and storage of food or
improve nutritive value (vitamins and minerals)
- Intentional: vitamins, minerals, flavours, colours, preservatives, texture agents
- Unintentional: fertilizers, pesticides, heavy metals, hair, microorganisms added as a
result of the growing, manufacturing and storage processes (contaminants); the amount
present is limited by regulations
- Additives are not necessarily required hence the safety evaluation of them must be very
- The efficacy of a food additive is easily determined, but there are a number of problems
assessing toxicity
- The risk/ benefit ration of additives must be carefully determined method of analysis
or study within animals is extrapolated to human effect
- Limitations include:
o Most food additives do not demonstrate toxicity at low concentrations and
therefore may be difficult to detect; additive effects must be taken into account
whereby risk estimates must be made on a lifetime of exposure
o Additives are usually tested in animals where the highest no-effect dose is
calculated; the acceptable human exposure limit is then taken as 1/100 or 1/1000
of the maximum no-effect dose in animals the assumption made is that
studying high doses in animals will mimic low-dose, lifetime exposure in humans
(this assumption tends to over estimate the actual risk)
o Potential of a compound to be a carcinogenic or mutagenic stimulant if a
positive response is observed in any test system, the compound is usually not
allowed as a food additive
- World Health Organization food additive principles:
o Additives are justified if they enhance or maintain the quality or acceptability of
o Additives should be used only if quantities sufficient to obtain stated ends
o Additives should be pure
o Toxicological evaluation of additives should be undertaken
o Individuals exhibit similar behaviour/dietary habits however special groups must
be considered
- In the early 197s cardiac induced deaths in individuals with no apparent risk factors for
heart disease were linked to toxic levels of cobalt chloride (inhibits the hearth muscles
from functioning) cobalt chloride was once added to beer to control the head on the
glass; these individuals would have needed to consume 24 beer ever day for an extended
period of time to obtain a toxic dose
Classes of Food Additives
find more resources at oneclass.com
find more resources at oneclass.com
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