FAO Nutrition Meetings
Report Series No. 40A,B,C
TOXICOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF SOME
ANTIMICROBIALS, ANTIOXIDANTS, EMULSIFIERS,
STABILIZERS, FLOUR-TREATMENT AGENTS, ACIDS AND BASES
The content of this document is the result of the deliberations of the
Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives which met at Rome,
13-20 December, 19651 Geneva, 11-18 October, 19662
1 Ninth Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food
Additives, FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series, 1966 No. 40;
Wld Hlth Org. techn. Rep. Ser., 1966, 339
2 Tenth Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food
Additives, FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series, 1967, in press;
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
World Health Organization
OXIDES OF NITROGEN
In the absence of adequate chemical data from the manufacturers,
specifications for oxides of nitrogen have not been prepared and will
not be established until the biological studies requested have been
It is considered important that the products resulting from the
treatment of flour with oxides of nitrogen should be adequately
investigated, particularly for the possible presence of nitrosamines.
The only information obtained from the literature is on flour
contaminated accidentally by exposure to air containing oxides of
nitrogen (Buré, 1962). The presence of nitrites in flour treated with
oxides of nitrogen has been demonstrated (Wesener & Telley, 1909).
Dog. Dogs were fed 30-50 g/kg body-weight/day of flour treated
with nitrogen oxide (treatment level, 11 amperes/100 lbs) for 21-38
days. No running fits were observed and the dogs remained in apparent
good health (Radomski et al., 1948).
No data are available.
On the available data it is not possible to arrive at an estimate
of acceptable level of treatment of flour. Nevertheless it is not
considered necessary to discontinue the use of oxides of nitrogen at
the present treatment levels, provided the following further work
required is made available.
Further work required
Analytical - measurement of nitrite, nitrate and nitrosamines in
treated flour and bread made from it.
Toxicological - long-term tests on treated flour and bread made
Buré, J. (1962) Ann. des Fraudes et de l'Expert. Chim., 638, 52
Radomski, J. L., Woodward, G. & Lehman, A. J. (1948) J. Nutr., 36,
Wesener, -. & Telley, -. (1909) Amer. Food J.