Document Detail

Review: putative mutagens and carcinogens in foods. II: sorbate and sorbate-nitrite interactions.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6861725     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Sorbic acid and potassium sorbate are widely used Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) food additives with an extremely high (25 mg/kg) acceptable daily intake level. Some children between the ages of 6-24 months may actually ingest this amount. While presently not permitted to be added directly to meat and poultry products in the US, potassium sorbate has been proposed as a preservative for bacon, as an additive in conjunction with nitrite and ascorbate or erythorbate. Sorbate and nitrite form several species of direct-acting mutagens and genotoxic agents when present together at pH's mimicking gastric conditions. Two of the mutagens have been identified as ethylnitrolic acid and 1,4-dinitro-2-methylpyrrole. Mutagen formation is blocked by ascorbate at low pH. Ascorbate at eightfold molar excess leads to inactivation of 1,4-dinitro-2-methylpyrrole near neutral pH but does not destroy the mutagenic nitro compound at low pHs. The combination of sorbate with nitrite represents a potential health risk in the absence of adequate inactivating levels of ascorbate (vitamin C).
P E Hartman
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Environmental mutagenesis     Volume:  5     ISSN:  0192-2521     ISO Abbreviation:  Environ Mutagen     Publication Date:  1983  
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1983-08-11     Completed Date:  1983-08-11     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7909737     Medline TA:  Environ Mutagen     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  217-22     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Fatty Acids, Unsaturated / toxicity*
Food Additives / toxicity*
Nitrites / toxicity*
Sorbic Acid / toxicity*
United States
Grant Support
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Carcinogens; 0/Fatty Acids, Unsaturated; 0/Food Additives; 0/Mutagens; 0/Nitrites; 110-44-1/Sorbic Acid

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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