December 5, 2023

Scientists Warn: Food Coloring Nanoparticles May Damage Human Gut

Cross-section of chicken intestinal tract with cells that might be affected by food nanoparticles. Credit: Cornell University
According to a current study by scientists at Cornell and Binghamton University, metal oxide nanoparticles which are regularly utilized as food coloring and anti-caking agents in the food market, may trigger damage to certain areas of the human intestinal tract.
” We discovered that specific nanoparticles– titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide– generally utilized in food may negatively impact intestinal tract performance,” said senior author Elad Tako, associate teacher of food science at Cornell. “They have an unfavorable impact on crucial gastrointestinal and absorptive proteins.”
In their research study, the research group administered human-equivalent doses of titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide in the Tako laboratorys in vivo system, which offers a health action that closely resembles that of the body.

The researchers injected the nanoparticles into chicken eggs. After the chickens hatched, the researchers discovered changes in the functional, morphological, and microbial biomarkers in the blood, the duodenum (upper intestine), and the cecum (a pouch connected to the intestinal tract).
” We are taking in these nanoparticles every day,” stated Tako. “We do not actually understand how much we consume; we dont actually understand the long-term results of this intake. Here, we had the ability to demonstrate a few of these impacts, which is an essential to understanding intestinal health and development.”
Despite the finding, the researchers are not yet calling for an end to making use of these nanoparticles.
” Based on the details, we suggest merely understanding,” Tako said. “Science requires to carry out more examinations based upon our findings. We are opening the door for discussion.”
Recommendation: “Food-Grade Metal Oxide Nanoparticles Exposure Alters Intestinal Microbial Populations, Brush Border Membrane Functionality and Morphology, In Vivo (Gallus gallus)” by Jacquelyn Cheng, Nikolai Kolba, Alba García-Rodríguez, Cláudia N. H. Marques, Gretchen J. Mahler and Elad Tako, 9 February 2023, Antioxidants.DOI: 10.3390/ antiox12020431.
The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health.
Nanoparticles are utilized in food colorings to enhance their color, solubility, and stability strength. Food coloring nanoparticles are made by decreasing the size of color particles to the nanoscale range, typically in between 1 and 100 nanometers in diameter.
Nanoparticles have a bigger area than bigger particles, which makes them more reactive and enhances their ability to disperse in food. This better dispersion causes much better color stability, as the nanoparticles are less most likely to clump together or settle out of the food.
In addition to stability, nanoparticles can also boost the strength of food colors. This is since the smaller size of the particles allows them to connect more effectively with light, leading to more vivid and intense colors.
It is important to keep in mind that the usage of nanoparticles in food has raised concerns about their potential health results. As an outcome, regulative bodies such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) need that food producers supply proof that the nanoparticles they utilize are safe for consumption.

” We are taking in these nanoparticles on a day-to-day basis,” said Tako. “We dont actually understand how much we take in; we do not actually know the long-term results of this intake. Here, we were able to show some of these results, which is a crucial to understanding gastrointestinal health and development.”
” Based on the info, we suggest simply being conscious,” Tako stated.