The FDA has evaluated TBHQ and has set up guidelines, based on the amount of the additive that can be consumed safely. Products containing over 0.02 percent of TBHQ can be harmful. TBHQ is still being studied to determine the level of the chemical can be considered safe and what the effects are when consumed in higher doses.
The post made the statement that TBHQ is highly toxic and made from butane, a toxic gas used in lighter fluid. To find out the facts, we turned to one of our experts, Dr. Sean O’Keefe, a food science professor at Virginia Tech. What is TBHQ? Dr. O’Keefe explained it is a synthetic antioxidant that is added to foods to prevent or delay oxidation.
TBHQ Toxicity As a food additive, the FDA allows TBHQ to make up no more than 0.02 percent of the total oils in a food, according to a report in the 2004 “European Food Safety Authority Journal.” Consuming up to a gram of TBHQ can cause variable toxicity, and up to 5 grams can be fatal.
tBHQ is a synthetic antioxidant and preservative that is considered by most major organizations to be safe for use in food. It is found in many packaged foods, most fast food products, soft drinks, frozen fish products and certain brands of soy milk. You will also find tBHQ in some lacquers, varnishes, paints, cosmetics, dyes and pet foods.
And according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM), cases of vision disturbances have been reported when humans consume TBHQ. This organization also cites studies that have found TBHQ to cause liver enlargement, neurotoxic effects, convulsions, and paralysis in laboratory animals. Some believe BHA and TBHQ also affect human behavior.
As such, TBHQ has been approved by leading regulatory and health organizations around the world such as EFSA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).
Its main function is to extend the shelf life of the food by prolonging the oxidation process. Oxidation may cause the food to lose its flavor and color. In some cases, these foods can even become toxic without the use of TBHQ. It is used in many products namely processed foods, perfumes, cosmetics, varnishes, etc.
Why is TBHQ used?
TBHQ, like many food additives, is used to extend shelf life and prevent rancidity. It’s a light-colored crystalline product with a slight odor. Because it’s an antioxidant, TBHQ protects foods with iron from discoloration, which food manufacturers find beneficial.
TBHQ is an additive to preserve processed foods. It acts as an antioxidant, but unlike the healthy antioxidants you find in fruits and vegetables, this antioxidant has a controversial reputation.
if there is a lack of safety evidence overall. TBHQ can’t account for more than 0.02 percent of the oils in a food because the FDA doesn’t have evidence that greater amounts are safe.
As noted above, the FDA considers TBHQ to be safe, particularly in small amounts. However, some research indicates that Americans may be getting more than they should. A 1999 evaluation by the World Health Organization found the “average” intake of TBHQ in the United States to be around 0.62 mg/kg of body weight.
TBHQ, like many questionable food preservatives, is found in processed foods meant to withstand a long shelf life. Avoiding these packaged foods and opting for fresh ingredients is a surefire way to limit it in your diet. Last medically reviewed on July 16, 2019.
It’s often used with other additives like propyl gallate, butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT). BHA and TBHQ are usually discussed together, as the chemicals are closely related: TBHQ forms when the body metabolizes BHA.
What is TBHQ in food?
What is TBHQ? Dr. O’Keefe explained it is a synthetic antioxidant that is added to foods to prevent or delay oxidation. Oxidation causes food to lose flavor quality, color and can even cause foods to become toxic. In addition, oxidation causes vitamins to break down, causing food to lose some of its nutritional value.
TBHQ is used in extremely small quantities to stop oils and fats from going rancid and losing their nutritional properties. If you’re using oils and fats containing TBHQ for cooking your food, you’re safe. If you’re consuming packaged or tinned foods, the TBHQ levels are the least of your problems.
BHT and TBHQ is often used at ratios about .001% to .002% (in oils) I seriously doubt your body reacts to that minimun amount.
A very wise man once said _ The cruelty of most people is lack of imagination; their brutality is ignorance. ‘Nuf said.
Obviously, ingesting antioxidants will reduce the amount of oxygen our lungs can absorb, our red blood cells could carry and our organs can use. Therefore in a long run, it will cause cancers to form. Eventually killing us. Now you know why the various countries throughout the world have banned these chemicals.
A number of true poisons are nearly 100% lethal at those ratios, and cause health problems even at .00001%. Don’t let small percentages fool you into safety. If the TBHQ is effective enough to prevent oxidation at .001% it’s also effective enough to produce some health effect in you.
O’Keefe explains, “It is not made from butane, it does not contain butane but it does contain a tertiary butyl group.”. Science Blogs and Livestrong offer more insight into the chemical makeup of TBHQ and the mistaken connection to butane.
What is tbhq?
The National Institute of Health’s (NIH) official definition of tBHQ is: t-Butylhydroquinone is a white to a tan, crystalline powder. It has a very slight odor. t-Butylhydroquinone is very soluble in water. t-Butylhydroquinone is used as an antioxidant in food (EAFUS) and cosmetics and as a chemical stabilizer.
(5) The FDA limit for tBHQ in foods is set at .02 percent for most foods. That means that a food product can have no more than .02 percent tBHQ in the finished product.
The acceptable daily intake (ADI) of tBHQ, according to the FDA, is .7 mg/kg/day. (5) Basically, that means someone who weighs 150 pounds should be able to have 48 milligrams of tBHQ each day without adverse health effects.
tBHQ — or tertiary butylhydroquinone, also referred to as tert-Butylhydroquinone or t-butylhydroquinone — got press a few years ago when a popular natural health blogger began exposing the very large number of foods in which it can be found and some of the more concerning possible dangers it might cause.
The National Institute of health has recorded instances of various neurological symptoms related to tBHQ consumption. These include vision disturbances, convulsions and medullary paralysis (a stage of paralysis in which the medulla, the part of the brain that controls breathing and vital bodily processes, is slowed). (19, 4)
While many stimuli that activate Nrf2 cause it to boost antioxidant activity, tBHQ actually causes Nrf2 to negatively interact with proteins that control immune responses such as white blood cell function. (7, 8) Some evidence suggests that the antioxidant dysfunction caused by tBHQ is sometimes independent of Nrf2.
In amounts correlated with what an average person might consume each day, tBHQ inhibits some of the immune responses that help your body fight disease. (5)
Why is TBHQ dangerous?
This is considered to be the main reason that causes food allergies. A combination of various interactions related to TBHQ can increase hypersensitivity and cause serious health risks . This property of TBHQ makes it very dangerous for people suffering from food allergies and it is highly recommended to avoid products associated with TBHQ.
Generally, Nrf2 protein is activated in the immune system to promote antioxidant function, which fights against different bacteria and viruses.
Application of cosmetics is considered to be one of the reasons for contact dermatitis. Since TBHQ is an additive, it is commonly used in cosmetics. Studies have shown that cosmetics containing TBHQ have the ability to cause contact dermatitis on the skin due to the allergic reaction.
Drinking water adequately is one way to reduce levels from our body. Water is able to dilute TBHQ and helps to reduce the levels. There are numerous alternatives available in the market to avoid the use of TBHQ either for their preservative effects or for their antioxidant effects.
In the case of TBHQ, it activates Nrf2 negatively to control the function of white blood cells related to the immune function. Due to this negative activation of the Nrf2 protein, the immune system functions abnormally and does not fight the bacteria and viruses as expected, which leads to malfunction of the immune system. This activity of TBHQ is one of the main reasons why the use has reduced drastically.
TBHQ is mainly used as a food preservative since it retains the flavor of the food even after deep frying the food. There are various processed foods available in the market which uses this preservative to increase the shelf life as well as retain the flavor of the food.
What is TBHQ? TBHQ or Tertiary Butylhydroquinone is a food preservative, which is a synthetic antioxidant. It is white in color and is available as a crystalline powder. It is highly soluble in water.
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