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Food Chem Toxicol. 2008 Feb;46(2):433-45. Epub 2007 Sep 29.

Safety assessment of Ylang-Ylang (Cananga spp.) as a food ingredient.

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Burdock Group, 2001 9th Avenue Suite 301, Vero Beach, FL 32960, United States.


Ylang-Ylang oil is used in the food industry as a flavor ingredient. It is a complex chemical mixture in the form of an essential oil extracted by water or water-and-steam distillation from the fresh flowers of Cananga odorata Hook. f. & Thomson. Ylang-Ylang oil has been reported to cause dermal sensitization reactions in animals and humans, but it is unclear what constituent(s) within the essential oil comprise the offending agent(s) and whether some Ylang-Ylang oils that have had certain constituent(s) removed are any less prone to cause such allergic reactions. There is no indication in the literature that food exposure to Ylang-Ylang oil has caused allergic reactions. One subchronic inhalation toxicity study, involving Ylang-Ylang oil as part of a larger fragrance raw materials mixture, gave no indication of causing adverse effects, but the relevance to risk assessment of oral food flavoring use exposures is likely minimal. No further toxicity data for Ylang-Ylang oil have been reported. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Ylang-Ylang oil has a long history of fragrance and food flavoring use, with no indication that its estimated consumption from food flavoring use (0.0001 mg/kg/day) has led to any adverse human health effects. These data indicate that at the current level of intake as a food ingredient, Ylang-Ylang oil does not pose a health risk to humans.

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