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Semicarbazide in Selected Bird's Nest Products

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Abstract:

Currently, a number of food producers use hypochlorite to bleach food and inhibit the growth of bacteria, preserving the food. Because the presence of high amounts of nitrogen could result in the formation of semicarbazide (SEM), the bleaching process could be one of the predominant sources of SEM in food. To investigate this, we selected instant bottled bird's nest as an example of a food that is bleached in its production. SEM was detected in 27 of 28 instant bottled bird's nest samples. The levels of SEM detected mostly fell in the range of 5 to 50 μg/kg, which accounted for 75% of all samples measured. The SEM detected in the instant bottled bird's nest was found to have originated neither from the use of the antimicrobial agent nitrofurazone nor from azodicarbonamide, which is used as a blowing agent in gaskets used to seal the metal lid of the bottle. Instead, it could have originated from the bleaching process used in the preparation of the nests. Additionally, human exposure to SEM via consumption of instant bottled bird's nest for five subgroups of the population was estimated. Sensitivity analysis suggested that concentration of SEM in food is the most significant parameter governing human exposure via consumption of SEM-containing food.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4315/0362-028X.12-065

Affiliations: 1: Shenzhen Academy of Metrology and Quality Inspection, Shenzhen 518109, People's Republic of China 2: Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Circular Economy, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School, Shenzhen 518055, People's Republic of China. nihg@pkusz.edu.cn

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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