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Food Chem Toxicol. 2007 Dec;45(12):2581-91. Epub 2007 Jun 28.

Toxicological potential of 2-alkylcyclobutanones--specific radiolytic products in irradiated fat-containing food--in bacteria and human cell lines.

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Institut für Lebensmitteltechnologie und Lebensmittelchemie, Technische Universität Berlin, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, 13355 Berlin, Germany.


Food irradiation has been considered as a safe processing technology to improve food safety and preservation, eliminating efficiently bacterial pathogens, parasites and insects. This study aims to characterize the toxicological potential of 2-alkylcyclobutanones (2-ACBs), radiolytic derivatives of triglycerides, formed uniquely upon irradiation of fat-containing food. In irradiated food they are generated proportionally to fat content and absorbed radiation dose. The cyto- and genotoxic potentials of various highly pure synthetic 2-ACBs were studied in bacteria and human cell lines. While pronounced cytotoxicity was evident in bacteria, no mutagenic activity has been revealed by the Ames test in Salmonella strains TA 97, TA 98 and TA 100. In mammalian cells genotoxicity was demonstrated mainly by the induction of DNA base lesions recognized by the Fpg protein as determined by both the Comet Assay and the Alkaline Unwinding procedure. Formation of DNA strand breaks was observed by the Alkaline Unwinding procedure but not by the Comet Assay. The extent of cytotoxicity and genotoxicity were dependent on chain length and degree of unsaturation of the fatty acid chain. Further studies will have to clarify mechanisms of action and potential relevance for human exposure situation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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