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The full text of this article hosted at iucr. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. Learn more. Although it is considered safe for human health at authorized levels, its ubiquitous presence and the controversial toxicological data reported are of great concern for consumers.
In recent years, special attention has been paid to these 14 metabolites or degradation products: These derived compounds could pose a human health risk from a food safety point of view, but they have been little studied. In this context, this review deals with the occurrence, origin, and fate of BHT in foodstuffs, its biotransformation into metabolites, their toxicological implications, their antioxidant and prooxidant properties, the analytical determination of metabolites in foods, and human dietary exposure.
Moreover, noncontrolled additional sources of exposure to BHT and its metabolites are highlighted. These include their carryover from feed to fish, poultry and eggs, their presence in smoke flavorings, their migration from plastic pipelines and packaging to water and food, and their presence in natural environments, from which they can reach the food chain.
The phenolic antioxidants currently allowed as food additives by the European authorities are these 9 substances: In the last years, the call has been made for the need of further research regarding the dual role of many compounds in relation to their effects on human health and also on foods Aruoma ; Frankel ; Halliwell In addition, consumers are currently concerned about the use of certain food additives due to their potential toxicity.
In this sense, the widespread use of BHT as an antioxidant can be considered a matter of public health concern, because of the potential toxicological effects attributed to BHT itself and to metabolites derived from it Branen ; Babich ; Malkinson ; Kahl ; Bomhard and others ; Williams and others Special attention should be paid to these derived compounds, since the toxic effects of BHT are thought to be caused by its metabolites rather than by the parent compound Thompson and Trush In this context, and taking into account the multiple sources of exposure to BHT and its metabolites, this review deals with its occurrence and origin, their possible dual role as antioxidants and prooxidants, the fate of BHT in foodstuffs, its biotransformation into metabolites, their toxicological implications, some dietary BHT exposure studies and the established limits, additional sources of exposure, and the analytical determination of BHT metabolites in foods.
In addition to its use as a food antioxidant, BHT may also be added to animal feeds, food packaging materials, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, rubbers, plastic pipelines, biodiesel fuel, lubricants, paints and inks, personal care products, and cosmetics as a stabilizer or antiskinning agent. Due to the presence of BHT in the waste waters generated by these industries, it can also be found in natural environments like soil, water, and air.
BHT can also reach the food chain by these means. It has been evidenced that this molecule can be endogenously generated by some freshwater phytoplankton submitted to oxidative stress conditions Babu and Wu One of the main reasons for food deterioration during processing or storage is lipid oxidation, which evolves through different steps and gives rise to the formation of very reactive compounds.
It must be noted that this degradation process occurs not only in food lipids, but also in those present in cells and biological systems. Antioxidant properties of BHT rely on its molecular configuration, because, like other synthetic phenolic antioxidants, it possesses a labile hydrogen atom in the hydroxy group that can be donated and reduce the free radicals generated at the initiation step of lipid oxidation. Thus, BHT itself is oxidized and the subsequent derived radical is stabilized by electronic delocalization in the benzene ring.
Nevertheless, the antioxidant activity of this molecule at high temperatures, such as frying conditions, can greatly differ from that developed at moderate or low temperatures, as during storage. This fact was attributed not only to the compound volatilization, but also to its transformation into metabolites. However, BHT has also been reported to exert prooxidant effects under certain conditions.
Thus, when BHT was added in excess to a wheat seedling medium in aerobic conditions, an enhancement of the generation rate of superoxide anion was observed. This is a reactive particle that may damage cellular structures at high concentrations Smirnova and others In addition, an increase in hepatic microsomal lipid peroxidation was observed in rats fed with diets containing 0.
Due to this ability of BHT to exert prooxidant effects at high concentrations, it has been used to induce experimental models of oxidative stress in several animals and fungi in order to study the protective effects of other compounds Faine and others ; Lin and others ; Nanou and Roukas ; Awah and others In addition, the phenolic radical itself may undergo redox recycling which can be a critical factor depending on the reductant involved Kagan and others During food processing and storage the evolution of lipid oxidation and, consequently, the evolution of the antioxidant molecules originally present, can be very different depending on the temperature at which the process takes place.
As far as we know, there is a lack of studies dealing with this topic at low or moderate temperatures. Only a few studies have addressed the fate of BHT in foods during processing at high temperatures. In fact, it has been shown by several authors that under frying conditions the loss of antioxidants, either natural or synthetic, is very fast and their activity very low.
As mentioned before, their low effectiveness at high temperatures is attributed not only to their volatilization and steam distillation caused by the water boiled out of the cooked food, but also to their rapid degradation Augustin and Berry ; Allam and Mohamed ; Tsaknis and others ; Zhang and others Concerning the transformation of BHT at high temperatures, there are only a few studies on the detection, isolation, and identification of its degradation products in food matrices.
It is remarkable that the compounds generated in the degradation of BHT at high temperatures depend on the food nature in which it is contained and on the processing conditions. From a food safety point of view, further research is needed regarding the nature and the extent of BHT transformation products that can be formed in foodstuffs when submitted to different processes, either at high or at low temperatures like storage, as well as concerning the BHT degradation pathways that generate them.
In fact, it has to be noted that a wide variety of products which are consumed daily and which may contain BHT are submitted to thermal processing. These include bread, cereals, pastry, cakes, biscuits, cookies, sweets, chips, and snacks. In the food industry it is a common practice to add BHT, and other synthetic phenolic antioxidants as a mixture, in order to increase antioxidation effectiveness.
It is remarkable that the generation of these 2 metabolites was not observed in the absence of BHA. Since the addition of mixtures of synthetic phenolic antioxidants is usual in the food industry, further research is needed on this topic. The metabolism of BHT is very complex and it has been investigated in different animal species, such as rats Daniel and Gage ; Ladomery and others ; Daniel and others ; Holder and others a ; Shaw and Chen ; Matsuo and others ; Conning and Phillips , mice Matsuo and others , rabbits Dacre ; Conning and Phillips , chickens Frawley and others , monkeys Allen ; Conning and Phillips , dogs Gage , and also in humans Daniel and others , ; Holder and others b ; Conning and Phillips As BHT undergoes several reactions during biotransformation, a large number of intermediate metabolites have been identified.
However, their nature and concentration depend on the environmental conditions and on the animal species. These results indicate that BHT and its toxic metabolite could remain bioaccessible for intestinal absorption. Due to the great importance of the matter, further research on the potential oxidation process of BHT during digestion and on the nature of the metabolites arising from it will be needed. A rapid absorption of this compound from the gastrointestinal tract and subsequent distribution to the liver and body fat has been observed Conning and Phillips Some studies referring to the rate of distribution of BHT in different organs after ingestion have been carried out.
The highest concentration was found in liver, kidney, and blood 3 h after the treatment Matsuo and others Likewise, in humans a single oral dose of 0. Studies concerning BHT metabolism have shown that, unlike other synthetic antioxidants, BHT is a potent inducer of the microsomal monooxygenase system and its major route of degradation is oxidation catalyzed by cytochrome P Conning and Phillips Metabolic differences among species have been reported: Regarding this latter metabolite, it is noteworthy that there is no evidence yet about its generation in humans EFSA ; however, it could be absorbed through the diet Goicoechea and others The rest was slowly excreted over the next 10 d, suggesting higher tissue retention in humans than in rats.
Some studies which focus on the accumulation of BHT in fatty tissues after feeding animals with diets containing BHT can also be found. Matsuo and others did not observe any tendency to accumulate BHT in major tissues in mice. It is remarkable that this is just a part of the total concentration in the whole fish, since BHT may have been distributed and accumulated in other organs. The authors pointed out that this high accumulation of BHT or its metabolites may have potential toxic health effects for both fish and fish consumers through carryover processes from the fish products.
It has been estimated that the bioconcentration factor of BHT in human adipose tissue is around 45 times higher than that calculated for rats Geyer and others In in Canada, a mean level of 0. The fact that most of these studies were accomplished using several animal species makes it difficult to extrapolate them to humans, because the metabolites generated could be different and the conditions of exposure may not mimic those occurring in humans.
In this context, controversial results regarding the toxicity of BHT and its metabolites can be found; data reported in toxicological studies have attributed to BHT a wide variety of effects on laboratory animals, either beneficial, deleterious, or none. With regard to humans, there is an evident lack of studies which relate BHT intake to disease. A prospective cohort study carried out in The Netherlands found no association between the consumption of mayonnaise and creamy salad dressings with BHT and stomach cancer risk.
Even a statistically nonsignificant decrease in stomach cancer risk was observed with increasing BHT intake Botterweck and others However, it must be noted that the intake of other food products containing BHT was not considered. Therefore, further studies on this topic would be of a great interest. As for acute oral toxicity, although this is considered low in animals JECFA , it must be noted that 2 clinical cases were reported in patients who suffered acute neurotoxicity and gastritis after ingesting a high dose of BHT 4 and 80 g without medical prescription to cure recurrent genital herpes Grogan ; Shlian and Goldstone The genotoxicity studies on BHT reviewed by Bomhard and others and by Williams and others concluded that BHT does not represent a genotoxic risk, because most of the studies carried out to that date had shown BHT was not able to induce mutations or to damage deoxyribonucleic acid DNA.
Nevertheless, it must be mentioned that other studies reported contrary results. Therefore, carcinogenesis risk and cell apoptosis would be dependent on the intensity of the damage and the ability of the cell to repair it. Some studies addressed the carcinogenicity and chronic toxicity of BHT and its metabolites in rodents with contradictory results. Moreover, after wk of administration of BHT, the formation of hepatocellular tumors in male mice was observed Inai and others After 10 mo of feeding mice with a diet containing different amounts of BHT, an increased incidence of liver tumors in male, but not female, animals was also reported Lindenschmidt and others However, in a similar study no evidence of the carcinogenicity of BHT administered to mice was observed Shirai and others In , the Intl.
Agency for Research on Cancer evaluated BHT and classified it in group 3 of carcinogens Not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans , along with other substances like certain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon PAH compounds. In those days there was limited evidence of its carcinogenicity in experimental animals and no evaluation could be made regarding humans because no data were available IARC In this context, further elucidation of the role of BHT and its metabolites in the development of tumors is required.
Although, like many other xenobiotic compounds, the toxic effects may be attributed more to BHT metabolites than to their parent compound, only a few studies have focused on their carcinogenicity and toxicity, and not only on that of BHT. Due to their high electrophility, quinone methide derivatives form adducts with several proteins, including enzymes that protect cells from oxidative stress; this prooxidant state can also lead to cell oxidative damage Lemercier and others ; Meier and others ; Shearn and others It must be noted that relationships between chronic oxidative stress and tumor promotion are well known Philip and others Risk assessments of food additives rely on the available toxicological data in order to define their acceptable dietary intake ADI.
The aim of these studies was to monitor the exposure of their population to BHT and to evaluate the risk of exceeding the established ADI. However, since the selection of food categories containing BHT and the methodological approaches are very different, direct comparison of the results of the different studies should be made with caution. In most of them, the estimates were based on the distribution of food intakes observed in dietary surveys individual, household, or market surveys , assuming BHT to be present at MPLs in all foods in which it is authorized.
Other less common options were the use of concentration data of BHT in foods provided by the food industry EFSA or analytically determined Soubra and others , the latter being considered the most accurate way to estimate the intake. Nevertheless, it has to be added that the selection of the food categories, the sampling conditions, and the limit of detection of the analytical methodology employed are of paramount importance for accurate estimations.
It must also be noted that overestimation derived from the consideration of MPLs of BHT in authorized food products could be counterbalanced by underestimation given that the food categories selected in most of the studies exclude other foodstuffs in which BHT is not allowed, although they might contain this additive as a result of carryover from ingredients employed for their manufacture Soubra and others or by other causes.
Moreover, these studies can have additional limitations, since most of them do not estimate either the amount of BHT actually consumed by heavy eaters, also called extreme consumers Maziero and others , or consumer brand loyalty data Vin and others However, some exceptions can be found. Kirkpatrick and Lauer reported that Canadian children aged 1 to 4 were exposed to 0. Leclercq and others indicated that the Italian population exposure to BHT was up to 0. Finally, it must be noted that despite the toxicological aspects discussed above, to the best of our knowledge no estimation of the dietary intake of BHT metabolites has been carried out yet.
This compound is another synthetic antioxidant widely used in animal feed. It cannot be used in any food for human consumption, but like BHT it can pass from feed to farmed fish, poultry, and eggs, so humans can be exposed to it and to its metabolites.
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No girls sitting at the We called in and made an appointment for the Thai 60 mins massage which was great and No girls sitting at the front pressure you to go in or luring men. Just a legitimate establishment with professional English speaking receptionist and attentive staff. We paid a cheap 1,bht I will visit again to enjoy the nice massage in Sweet Lemon Glass 2.
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On our trip to Bangkok we have eaten lovely street food in Chinatown and had lovely meals in our lovely hotel and then we made the bold decision to visit Asiatique on our last night as we had done everything else. We decided to eat first, so after a good look around we plumped for this place. The hostess showed us to our table and dumped the menus down without a smile, she then reappeared with a card asking if we wanted wine and champagne, when we said just soft drinks she bellowed for someone else to take over the order. She then proceeded to join the other hostesses in a good old gossip, it was obviously her job was to flog the expensive stuff just like in those seedy bars in Soho. We ordered, spring rolls with prawn to start. These were ok but barely one prawn in 2 halves. This was followed with a fried pork and garlic dish basically sinew, tough and chewy and rather disgusting; we also had a green curry with chicken but the main ingredient seemed to be limes. The chicken was full of gristle, quite ghastly; finally the pizza, the only edible dish! The wait staff were miserable and all our food came separately. My husband tipped 10 per cent and the young lad seemed chuffed but I saw him hand over the payment to the self absorbed hostesses so not sure he got that tip.
The full text of this article hosted at iucr. Use the link below to share a full-text version of this article with your friends and colleagues. Learn more. Although it is considered safe for human health at authorized levels, its ubiquitous presence and the controversial toxicological data reported are of great concern for consumers. In recent years, special attention has been paid to these 14 metabolites or degradation products:
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