INTERNATIONAL PROGRAMME ON CHEMICAL SAFETY
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
TOXICOLOGICAL EVALUATION OF SOME
FOOD COLOURS, EMULSIFIERS, STABILIZERS,
ANTI-CAKING AGENTS AND CERTAIN
FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series
No. 46A WHO/FOOD ADD/70.36
The content of this document is the result of the deliberations of the
Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives which met in Rome,
27 May - 4 June 19691
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
World Health Organization
1 Thirteenth report of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food
Additives, FAO Nutrition Meetings Report Series, in press;
Wld Hlth Org. techn. Rep. Ser., in press.
DISTARCH PHOSPHATE (prepared using Phosphorus Oxychloride)
Cross-linking of starch chains may be produced also by the use of
phosphorus oxychloride. Although theoretically likely, there is no
relevant chemical evidence available to show that modification by
phosphorus oxychloride in fact produces distarch phosphate. The
maximum number of phosphate bridges could reach one per 100
In vitro digestibility by pancreatin of corn or potato starch
modified with 0.05 per cent. or 0.1 per cent. phosphorus oxychloride
was found to be similar to the unmodified starch. (Janzen, 1969).
Caloric value was determined for starch treated with 0.06 per cent.
POCl3 in groups of six male and six female rats receiving 52 per
cent. of distarch phosphate for six weeks as sole carbohydrate source
in their diet. No differences were noted between modified and
unmodified starches (Oser, 1954).
Phosphorus oxychloride appears, at least theoretically, to produce
distarch phosphates similar to those formed from trimetaphosphate.
However there is no evidence that the chemically more reactive
phosphorus oxychloride might not cause reactions leading to
undetermined by-products. No short or long-term studies are available.
The metabolic behaviour of the moiety containing the phosphate groups
has not been studied. Adequate 90-day studies in at least two species
(one a non-rodent mammal) and metabolic studies preferably in man are
Not possible on the data available.
Janzen, G. J. (1969) Unpublished report submitted by Association des
Amidonneries de Mais
Oser, B. L. (1954) Unpublished report No. 69190 a-i by Food and Drug
Laboratories submitted by American Maize Products Co.