INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME ON CHEMICAL SAFETY
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
TOXICOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF SOME
FOOD COLOURS, EMULSIFIERS, STABILIZERS,
ANTI-CAKING AGENTS AND CERTAIN
FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series
No. 46A WHO/FOOD ADD/70.36
The content of this document is the result of the deliberations of the
Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives which met in Rome,
27 May - 4 June 19691
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
World Health Organization
1 Thirteenth report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food
Additives, FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series, in press;
Wld Hlth Org. techn. Rep. Ser., in press.
Dog. Two dogs were fed for one year on a diet containing
approximately 1 per cent. commercial turmeric. No adverse effects were
noted compared with two controls (Truhaut, 1958).
Rat. Groups of 20 male and 20 female rats were fed for 420 days on a
diet containing 0.5 per cent. of commercial turmeric with a control
group of 15 males and 15 females. The average life span of test
animals was 16-1/2 months compared with 17 months of the controls.
Growth, haematology or reproductive function were undisturbed as well
as survival of the pups. Passive congestion of the liver was seen
equally in test and control animals, No tumours were found. A
follow-up of the first filial generation for their life span showed no
abnormalities except for one benign tumour in a female rat (Truhaut,
The material normally used for colouring purposes is known to be of
variable composition and contains curcumin, a diphenolic compound. No
information is available on the metabolism of this substance.
Long-term studies are only available in the rat.
Level causing no toxicological effect in the rat
0.5 per cent. (= 5000 ppm) in the diet equivalent to 250 mg/kg
body-weight per day.
Estimate of acceptable daily intake for man
0 - 0.5
Further work required by 1974
Studies on the metabolism of curcumin and a two-year study in a
non-rodent mammalian species on turmeric.
Truhaut, R. (1958) C. R. on 18ème Congres de la F.I.P. Bruxelles, 8 -
15 Sept. 1958