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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Food

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Select Committee on GRAS Substances (SCOGS) Opinion: Starch, Sodium Hypochlorite oxidized

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.

Starch, Sodium Hypochlorite oxidized

  • SCOGS-Report Number: 115*
  • Type Of Conclusion: 3
  • ID Code: 977170-89-0
  • Year: 1979
  • 21 CFR Section: 172.892

SCOGS Opinion:

Digestibility and caloric value of starch oxidized with the maximum permitted level of sodium hypochlorite, as determined in rat feeding tests, were similar to those for unmodified starch. No adverse effects were observed in gross pathology or histopathology, hematology, serum chemistry or urinalyses in 90-day feeding tests when the oxidized starch was fed at levels an order of magnitude higher than the per capita consumption of all modified starches as indicated by available consumption data. However, starch treated with about eight times the permitted level of hypochlorite caused diarrhea and marked growth depression and cecal enlargement in rats in 21-day feeding studies, demonstrating the adverse effects of starches containing high levels of oxidized groups. In view of this indication of possible toxicity of starch oxidized with permitted levels of hypochlorite when ingested at high levels of intake, and the lack of long-term chronic toxicity tests and data on actual intake levels, the Select Committee recommends that information on either one or both of the latter be obtained in order to adequately evaluate the safety of hypochlorite oxidized starch as a direct food ingredient. This modified starch is not currently used in infant foods.

On basis of the above considerations, the Select Committee concludes that:

While no evidence in the available information on sodium hypochlorite oxidized starch demonstrates a hazard to the public when it is used at levels that are now current and in the manner now practiced, uncertainties exist requiring that additional studies should be conducted.

*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.