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Paper Details

Utilization of Microbial Bioassays for Screening the Possible Toxicity in Regularly Used Food Dyes

Ruchika Atri,* A. Singh, N. Mathur, A. Verma

Journal Title:Journal of Chemical, Biological and physical sciences

Food additives are the substances that are intentionally added to modify visual appearance, taste, texture, processing or the storage life of food. Today, food colorants as additives are randomly used in many foods. However, their use in food is still controversial. The great bulk of artificial colorings used in food are synthetic dyes. For decades synthetic food dyes have been suspected of being toxic or carcinogenic and many have been banned. However, most of the food colors are still being used which are either not safe or are being used in quantities exceeding the statutory limits. The present study aimed to investigate the possible genotoxic and cytotoxic potentials of four frequently used food dyes by utilizing Salmonella mutagenicity assay /Ames assay (Prokaryotic assay) and Saccharomyces cerevisiae respiration inhibition assay (eukaryotic bioassay). The main emphasis of the present study was utilization of microbial bioassays as simple, rapid and practical toxicity tests for pre-screening of large numbers of food additives. Result of this study show that among the four food dyes tested two were found to be significantly genotoxic even at lower doses. When cytoxicity in these food dyes was measured using Sachharomyces cerevisiae respiration inhibition assay similar results were obtained. The significance of the data is discussed with respect to other information on mutagenicity and carcinogenicity of the food colors.