An Exploratory Study on Three Synthetic Colouring Matters Commonly Used as Food Colours in Jakarta
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AbstractIn Indonesia, colored foods, snacks and drinks are widely appreciated. In the past the community we coloring their foods with plants, animal and mineral origin, while nowadays synthetic coloring matters are more preferred, since these materials are easily available even in very small shops in a relatively low price. Furthermore, most or the synthetic coloring matters are stable in contact with the air and or high tinctorial value. Most countries limit the use or food additives by law, and certain additives may be fully forbidden in a country for different reasons. For the safety or the use or food colors, each government prepares a list on what coloring matters are permitted to be used for coloring foods, the kinds or foods which. may be colored, the purity or the coloring matters and the maximum daily amount consumed, defined as the acceptable daily intake (ADI). In Indonesia, a list regarding the use or coloring matters for human consumption has already set-up, however this information did not reach the community at large, in addition to the lack of control of the related Government agencies. These reasons could lead to the malpractice or the indiscriminate use of the coloring matters for foods by the community. As coloring matters can make foods more attractive to a large part of the Indonesian community and at the same time looks more palatable it is understandable that the use of synthetic coloring matters has been increasing in kinds and amounts as well. Observations on the use of synthetic coloring matters in snacks and drinks during field study substantiated by physico-chemical examinations uncovered; that metanil yellow a yellow color and rhodamine B a pink color were widely used as food colors in Jakarta. This information is based on the findings that 70% out of 35 kinds of yellow colored snacks; 70% out of 10 kinds of drinks, confirmed by 77.8% of 9 brands of yellow coloring matters sold as food colors were containing metanil yellow. In the case of pink coloring matter, it was proven that 100% out of each of 20 kinds of snacks, 10 kinds of drinks and 8 brands of coloring matter contained rhodamine B. Metanil yellow and rhodamine B are in fact two dyestuffs which do not belong to the list of permitted food colors, both internationally as well as in Indonesia. To demonstrate the probable toxic effects caused by metanil yellow, rhodamine B, and a permitted food color in Indonesia amaranth of which the safety in use for human consumption is still under scientific debate was performed in male albino weanling mice and rats. Metanil yellow from Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) Ltd. England, and Rhodamine B from P.T. Krikas products were given to mice at the level of l mg/mouse/day for four months. Metanil yellow and Amaranth from ICI and rhodamine B from P.T. Krikas products were given to mice and rats at different levels by "tube administration for three weeks in another trial. The experimental animals fed on the three coloring matters showed toxic effects by the evidence that almost all treated animals indicated significant differences in their growth, organ weights, packed cell volumes and total serum protein values as calculated statistically. In metanil yellow and amaranth groups, those animals showed obvious roughened hair coats. Animals fed on metanil yellow and rhodamine B showed discoloration of hair coats and skin, however those animals fed on amaranth, the sign of discoloration were not quite apparent. Besides the above clinical signs, the abnormal behavioral changes were included aggressiveness and sign of cannibalism, even in animals which were treated within three-week feeding period. It might be of value to make a guess-estimate of the quantity of metanil yellow and rhodamine B available in a piece of cake or in a glass of drink. It may also be of interest to compare the level of consumption of the treated animals which showed toxic effects in the experiment with that consumed by human or a child. It was found out that yellow coloring matters of "Kodok" brand was most widely used by snacks and drinks sellers. In general they were using one pack of 3-5 grams of the coloring agents for coloring 3-5 kilograms of flour for cake-making or 3-5 kilograms of drinks. The unit weight of snacks ranges from 35 100 grams. The coloring matter contains 13.80% of pure metanil yellow. If a child of 20 kilograms of body weight consumes a snack or noodle in the quantity ranging from 35- 100- 200 grams, he then will ingest metanil yellow in the quantity ranging from 0.242 , 0.690 , and 1.380 milligram on a kilogram body weight basis. Assuming that a child of 20 kilograms body weight will consume everyday metanil yellow containing snack, then his ingestion will be in the range of 0.017; 0.048; 0.096 times the toxic effect level of a mice of 30.0 grams body weight (the toxic effect level is 14.33 mg/kg BW/day). In the case of rhodamine B it was assumed that a child of 20 kilograms body weight is consuming a pink colored snack or drink weighing 85 grams and 200 milliliter respectively. The level of ingestion of rhodamine B in this child if daily consumed will be 0.298, and 0.701 times the level of the treated mice of 30.0 grams which was 0.117mg/kg BW/day. At this level, the mouse showed a slower rate of growth than the control group. The question will arise whether the same. Effects showed by metanil yellow and rhodamine B treated animals. I will be seen in humans whose are consuming the yellow and pink colored snacks or drinks respectively. What effect the use of these non-edible coloring matters may have on the health of the consumer remains an open question, which needs further research. The answer is complicated by the fact that the frequency and quantity of the snacks and drinks consumed may indeed be variable and the quantity of the pure coloring matters in every package is also not the same, due to hand-packing at the small scale distribution level. Experiment carried-out on amaranth in mice and rats for three weeks) showed toxic effect at the lowest level fed) which was 150 mg/kg BW/day which is equivalent to 128 mg/kg BW/day of pure amaranth. Based on the experimental results mentioned above) the "no effect level" can be expected to be lower than 128 mg/kg BW/day, in the treated mice and rats assuming the "no effect level" can be 75 mg/kg B/day which is derived from l00 X 0,75mg/kg BW (The Acceptable Daily Intake for human is 0.75 mg/kg BW). Unfortunately the "no effect level" was not determined in this study due to limited time and budget. Fortunately, this dye is not so popular in use as a food co1or in Jakarta, and therefore, an exclusion from the list or permitted food co1ors may be without much objections from the importance from public health aspects it is or importance to stop the use or which ever or the non-edible co1oring matter group in foods. To achieve this aim, action, that can be taken are through an organized community efforts among others : 1. To spread the regulations or the use or food additives throughout the various municipalities or all islands in Indonesia. 2. An immediate measure, may be to make food-grade co1oring matters available in the markets at a low price, within the reach or small; producers. This could be done, for example by exemption or lowering or the import duties. At the same time, the authorities should tighten or enforce the law or regulations or commodities including coloring matters in the markets. 3. Through consumer education i.e. to make the community aware that non-edible co1oring matters are hazardous to human health..
URIhttp://repository.litbang.kemkes.go.id/10/ Sihombing, Geertruida (1978) An Exploratory Study on Three Synthetic Colouring Matters Commonly Used as Food Colours in Jakarta. UNSPECIFIED thesis, Badan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Kesehatan.
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