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Food Chem Toxicol. 1992 Sep;30(9):759-64.

Genotoxicity studies in vitro and in vivo on carminic acid (natural red 4).

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Dipartimento di Scienze dell'Ambiente e del Territorio, The University, Pisa, Italy.


The potential genotoxic activity of carminic acid (CAS no. 1260-17-9; EINECS no. 215-023-3; C.I. no. 75410), a component of natural red colouring products (cochineal: CAS no. 1343-78-8; EINECS no. 215-680-6; C.I. no. 75470), used in food, cosmetics and drugs, has been evaluated by means of a series of short-term tests in vitro and in vivo, namely Salmonella reverse mutation, chromosome aberrations and sister chromatid exchanges in vitro on Chinese hamster ovary cells, and the mouse micronucleus test. All studies have produced negative results. The data obtained strongly support the non-mutagenic/non-carcinogenic activity of this compound. Genotoxicity data previously obtained for carminic acid, concerning the induction of a series of other genetic endpoints in different test systems, have also been considered, as have recent findings that indicate lack of carcinogenic activity in the cochineal preparation containing 29.8% carminic acid.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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