Toxicological evaluation of some food
additives including anticaking agents,
antimicrobials, antioxidants, emulsifiers
and thickening agents
WHO FOOD ADDITIVES SERIES NO. 5
The evaluations contained in this publication
were prepared by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert
Committee on Food Additives which met in Geneva,
25 June - 4 July 19731
World Health Organization
1 Seventeenth Report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on
Food Additives, Wld Hlth Org. techn. Rep. Ser., 1974, No. 539;
FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series, 1974, No. 53.
Sodium diacetate has been evaluated for acceptable daily intake
by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (see Annex 1,
Ref. No. 6) in 1961.
Since the previous evaluation, additional data have become
available and are summarized and discussed in the following monograph.
The previously published monograph has been expanded and is reproduced
in its entirety below.
There are no studies with sodium diacetate as such, but it may be
expected to be metabolized in the same way as other salts of acetic
acid after absorption.
There is no direct information on the LD50 of sodium diacetate
in animals. It is probably similar to that of neutralized acetic acid.
Neutralized acetic acid
Animal Route LD50 Reference
Mouse oral 3 310 Woodard et al., 1941
Rat oral 4 960 Woodard et al., 1941
Rat oral 3 530 Smyth, 1951
Since there are no data on sodium diacetate as such, studies with
acetic acid may be considered. Rats given drinking water containing
0.25% of acetic acid were not affected; at a concentration of 0.5%
growth was inhibited (Sollmann, 1920-21).
No studies in animals are available. Acetic acid from vinegar and
from other sources is normally consumed by man in amounts of about 1 g
daily, apparently without adverse effects.
OBSERVATIONS IN MAN
In the absence of long-term studies, an acceptable level of human
intake of sodium diacetate has been estimated from the observations of
the effect of acetic acid in animals and in man.
Estimate of acceptable daily intake for man
0-15 mg/kg bw
Smyth, H. F. jr (1951) A.M.A. Arch. industr. Hyg., 4, 119
Sollmann, T. (1920-21) J. Pharmacol. exp. Ther., 16, 463
Woodard, G. et al. (1941) J. industr. Hyg., 23, 78