A report released by the US Consumer Advocacy Organization’s Public Interest Science Center recently found that its researchers found a caramel color in product ingredients in four products, Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Diet Coke and Pepsi. A chemical called 4-methylimidazole used in the process. The California court has also ruled that a colorant drink containing more than 29 micrograms of 4-methylimidazole must be accompanied by a cancer warning sign. What is 4-methylimidazole? Will it cause cancer?
The results of 4-methylimidazole carcinogenesis are limited to animals
Wu Zhigang, a professor of the Department of Occupational Health and Environmental Hygiene, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, said that two factors should be considered to determine whether a substance is carcinogenic. On the one hand, it depends on the rating of the substance in the international cancer institution, on the other hand, it depends on the content of the substance in the food.
International cancer agencies usually classify substances that have sufficient evidence to prove their carcinogenicity into a class of carcinogens, such as formaldehyde and dioxins. There will be limited evidence to support the possibility of carcinogenesis in humans, but there is some evidence to prove the carcinogenicity of experimental animals. The substance is divided into two types of carcinogens. It is now proven that the experimental results of 4-methylimidazole carcinogenesis are limited to animal experiments, and from this perspective it is not a very strong carcinogen. On the other hand, judging the carcinogenicity of a substance depends on the dose of the human body. If it does not reach a certain dose standard, it will not pose too much harm to the human body.
Concomitant biological content and production process have a lot to do with
Wu Zhigang said that 4-methylimidazole is a companion in the production of caramel coloring pigments based on ammonium sulfite. The content of accompanying organisms depends largely on the production process. Although caramel color is widely used in daily life, it may be used in the production of soy sauce and vinegar. However, these caramel pigments do not necessarily contain 4-methylimidazole, which is related to the raw materials used in the production of caramel pigments, and on the other hand, whether the production process can reach a certain standard.