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.
These modified starches represent an intermediate stage in the
normal enzymatic digestion of food starch in the human body. This
process also occurs in the human stomach and results in hydrolysis of
some of the linkages between adjacent anhydroglucose units with a
reduction of the mean molecular weight of these starch molecules. In
the commercial process hydrochloric, sulfuric or phosphoric acid is
used and the excess is neutralized with sodium hydroxide or sodium
Subsequent treatment of the modified starch ensures that only
traces of either sodium chloride, sodium sulfate or sodium hydrogen
phosphate remain behind.
These starches should be regarded as normal constituents of food.
Estimate of acceptable daily intake for man
* See relevant paragraph in the seventeenth report, pages 10-11.