Type: Research Essays
Sample donated: Agnes Robertson
Last updated: September 28, 2019
Onekind of synthetic antioxidant, which is used widely in food products, istert-butylhydroquinone (THBQ). It is an aromatic organic compound which is atype of phenol. It is a derivative of hydroquinone, substituted with atert-butyl group.
In the market, this antioxidant is sold as a powder has whitecolor and slight odor. The code numbersof this additive is E319. TBHQ,which is short name of tert-butylhydroquinone, is used in fats, including vegetable oils and animal fats. Therefore, itis also found in a wide range of processed foods since they contain some fats.For example, snack crackers, noodles, and fast and frozen foods. Manufacturersadd TBHQ to frozen fish products with the high concentrations.
Producers notonly mix it with the food, but also spray it on the surface of product. It canalso be sprayed onto the outside food packaging as well. This food additive maybe found in coffee creamer, peanut butter, bread, chewing gum, chocolateproduct, soft candy and so on.
Basedon the Centers for Science in the Public Interest, a research, which wasdesigned by government, found that this antioxidant increased the incidence oftumors in rats. And according to the National Library of Medicine, some casesof vision disturbances have been reported when humans consume TBHQ. Liverenlargement, neurotoxic effects, convulsions, and paralysis is the results ofstudy of TBHQ in laboratory animals by National Library of Medicine.Consuminghigh doses (between 1 and 4 grams) of TBHQ can lead to several symptoms such asdelirium, nausea, collapse, vomiting and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).
Scientists suggest that it may cause hyperactivity in children as well asasthma, rhinitis and dermatitis. It may also make Attention deficithyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms more serious and cause restlessness.Estrogen levels in women might be influenced by the presence of THBQ.Intoxicity studies, TBHQ administration with high dose and long term in labanimals was associated to the development of cancerous precursors in thestomach, as well as DNA damage. But unlike other synthetic antioxidantadditives, it did not cause lung lesions in laboratory animals.
However, TBHQcan make cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy agents, according to a study inthe June 2008 issue of “Carcinogenesis,” and a study in the June 2014issue of “Food Chemistry” proved that TBHQ can fragment DNA and causedamage to human lung and umbilical cells.