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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services


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Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Sodium hydrosulfite (packaging)

The GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Database allows access to opinions and conclusions from 115 SCOGS reports published between 1972-1980 on the safety of over 370 Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) food substances. The GRAS ingredient reviews were conducted by the Select Committee in response to a 1969 White House directive by President Richard M. Nixon.

Sodium hydrosulfite (packaging)

  • SCOGS-Report Number: 63*
  • Type Of Conclusion: 1
  • ID Code: 7775-14-6
  • Year: 1975
  • 21 CFR Section: There is no CFR citation.

SCOGS Opinion:

Information on the toxicity of sodium hydrosulfite is extremely limited. Nevertheless, the available data indicate that the oral administration of up to 1g of the sodium salt per kg body weight does not cause significant harm in dogs, and the intravenous injection of 25 to 50mg per kg has resulted in no apparent ill effects in rats. These doses are many orders of magnitude greater than those that could result from the consumption of foods packaged in sodium hydrosulfite-containing paper and paperboard packaging materials. Because zinc compounds, such as the carbonate and sulfate do not elicit adverse effects when administered orally to experimental animals at levels of 50mg per kg., and sodium hydrosulfite is without apparent adverse effects at equivalent levels it is reasonable to conclude that zinc hydrosulfite would react similarly. In the light of these considerations, the Select Committee concludes that: There is no evidence in the available information on sodium hydrosulfite and zinc hydrosulfite that demonstrates, or suggests reasonable grounds to suspect, a hazard to the public when they are used in food packaging materials as now practiced or as they might reasonably be expected to be used for such purposes in the future.

*Complete reports containing details of the safety studies that formed the basis of the opinions and conclusions and are available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161 (703) 605-6000.