Journal Article

Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Microencapsulated Citral in Rats and Mice

N. B. Ress, J. R. Hailey, R. R. Maronpot, J. R. Bucher, G. S. Travlos, J. K. Haseman, D. P. Orzech, J. D. Johnson and M. R. Hejtmancik

in Toxicological Sciences

Volume 71, issue 2, pages 198-206
Published in print February 2003 | ISSN: 1096-6080
Published online February 2003 | e-ISSN: 1096-0929 | DOI:
Toxicology and Carcinogenesis Studies of Microencapsulated Citral in Rats and Mice

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Citral, a widely used natural ingredient, is added to foods and cosmetics as a flavoring and fragrance agent. Male and female F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice were exposed to microencapsulated citral in the feed for 14 weeks or two years. All studies included untreated and vehicle control groups. In the 14-week studies, rats and mice were given diets containing 3900, 7800, 15,600, or 31,300 ppm citral. In rats, food consumption was reduced in the two highest dose groups. In mice an apparent increase in food consumption was observed, but was due to mice scattering the feed. Body weights of all treated animals were less than controls. All rats and four male mice were killed moribund in the high dose groups. In rats, forestomach and kidney lesions were observed. At the higher doses, lesions observed in the bone marrow, testes, and thymus in rats and in the ovary in mice were considered related to inanition and resultant moribundity. In the two-year studies, rats were exposed to 1000, 2000, or 4000 ppm citral. Body weights were reduced in the 4000 ppm rats. Mice were exposed to 500, 1000, or 2000 ppm citral. Body weights in the 1000 and 2000 ppm groups were reduced. No neoplasms were attributed to citral in rats or mice. Malignant lymphoma occurred with a positive trend and was significantly greater than controls in female mice in the 2000 ppm group. However, the incidences were within the NTP historical control range and could not be clearly related to citral administration.

Keywords: food additives; fragrance additives; GRAS list; microencapsulation; toxicity; malignant lymphoma; vinyl aldehyde; rats; mice; nephropathy

Journal Article.  6454 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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