Abstract Title:

Mutagenicity and DNA-damaging activity caused by decomposed products of potassium sorbate reacting with ascorbic acid in the presence of Fe salt.

Abstract Source:

Food Chem Toxicol. 2002 Nov;40(11):1589-94. PMID: 12176085

Abstract Author(s):

K Kitano, T Fukukawa, Y Ohtsuji, T Masuda, H Yamaguchi

Article Affiliation:

Osaka City Institute of Public Health and Environment Sciences, Osaka 543-0023, Japan.


Although potassium sorbate (PS), ascorbic acid and ferric or ferrous salts (Fe-salts) are used widely in combination as food additives, the strong reactivity of PS and oxidative potency of ascorbic acid in the presence of Fe-salts might form toxic compounds in food during its deposit and distribution. In the present paper, the reaction mixture of PS, ascorbic acid and Fe-salts was evaluated for mutagenicity and DNA-damaging activity by means of the Ames test and rec-assay. Effective lethality was observed in the rec-assay. No mutagenicity was induced in either Salmonella typhimurium strains TA98 (with or without S-9 mix) or TA100 (with S-9 mix). In contrast, a dose-dependent mutagenic effect was obtained when applied to strain TA100 without S-9 mix. The mutagenic activity became stronger increasing with the reaction period. Furthermore, the reaction products obtained in a nitrogen atmosphere did not show any mutagenic and DNA-damaging activity. PS, ascorbic acid and Fe-salts were inactive when they were used separately. Omission of one component from the mixture of PS, ascorbic acid and Fe-salt turned the reaction system inactive. These results demonstrate that ascorbic acid and Fe-salt oxidized PS and the oxidative products caused mutagenicity and DNA-damaging activity.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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