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publicado em 18/02/2011 às 13h00:00
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Scientists link the consumption risk of caramel coloring used in soft drinks

Chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole which were related to cancer development

 
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U.S. regulatory authority petitioned to ban caramel coloring on suspicion of being carcinogenic
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U.S. regulatory authority petitioned to ban caramel coloring on suspicion of being carcinogenic

The caramel coloring used in drinks such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola and other foods may be contaminated with two chemicals that cause cancer and should be banned, according to a regulatory petition presented by the Center for Science in the Public Interest - Center for Science in the Public Interest - (CSPI), the United States.

In contrast to the caramel that can be done at home by melting sugar in a saucepan, brown the artificial coloring in colas and other soft products is made by the reaction of ammonia with sulfites sugars under high pressure and temperatures.

Chemical reactions result in the formation of 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, in studies conducted by the U.S. government, were related to lung, liver, thyroid or leukemia in mice.

The National Toxicology Program, Division of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences who performed the animal studies, said there is "clear evidence" that both 2-4-MI and MI are carcinogenic. The chemicals that cause cancer in animals are considered a threat of cancer in humans. Researchers at the University of California, Davis (USA), found significant levels of 4-MI in five brands of cola.

"Carcinogenic dyes have no place in the food supply, especially considering that their only function is cosmetic," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) should act quickly to revoke approval of caramel colors made with ammonia.

Federal regulations distinguish among four types of caramel coloring, two of which are produced with ammonia and two without. The CSPI wants the FDA to ban both made with ammonia. The kind used in colas and other soft dark is known as Caramel IV or sulphite ammonia caramel process.

Five prominent experts in carcinogenesis in animals, including several people who have worked in the National Toxicology Program, joined the CSPI to ask the FDA to bar the use of dyes caramel made with a process of ammonia. "The American public should not be exposed to any risk of cancer of any kind as a result of the consumption of such chemicals, especially when they serve a purpose not essential" the scientists wrote in a letter to FDA commissioner Margaret Hamburg.

The CSPI also says that the phrase "caramel coloring" is misleading when used to describe the color made with ammonia or sulfite. The terms "ammonia caramel process" or "sulfite ammonia caramel process" would be more correct, and companies should not be allowed to label all products containing dyes, such as "natural", according to the group.

"Most people can interpret as caramel coloring colored with caramel, but this ingredient has little in common with caramel," said Jacobson. "It is a dark brown mixture of concentrated chemicals that simply did not occur in nature. The regular caramel is not healthy, but is not contaminated with carcinogenic substances."

Spain

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Caramel coloring    Soft drink    Coca-Cola    Pepsi    Cancer    Ammonia   
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