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.
This emulsifier has been evaluated for acceptable daily intake by
the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (see Annex 1,
Ref. No. 20) in 1969.
The previously published monograph has been revised and is
reproduced in its entirety below.
Hydroxylated lecithin appears to increase gluten extensibility
and water dispersibility. No detailed metabolic studies on this
substance are available, which itself is not a normal constituent of
the body, although lecithin itself is an essential constituent of all
cells of the human body.
No studies are available.
Two groups of six male and six female rats were fed a diet
containing 90% bread made from flour containing 0 or 5% hydroxylated
lecithin for 12 weeks. No adverse effects were noted on body weight
gain, food intake, appearance and behaviour of animals and
haematology. Gross autopsy was normal (Oser, 1952).
None are available.
Phosphatides prepared from different sources may cause a variety
of effects and it is therefore unwise to assume that modified lecithin
will behave similarly in all respects to a given unmodified lecithin.
Lecithins are susceptible to oxidation. Hydroxylated lecithin has not
been adequately studied from the toxicological point of view and there
are no satisfactory data available on which an evaluation could be
Not possible on the data available.
Oser, B. L. (1952) Unpublished report by Food Research Labs, dated 16