Food Additives to Avoid: Propyl Gallate

Food additives are substances that may be directly or indirectly added to foods and have altering capabilities to a food’s characteristics. Some are used as preservatives to prevent product spoilage. They may also be used to enrich and fortify the nutritional content of food. They also help in improving the general appearance of food such as taste, color and consistency.

Food additives are regulated and are subject for approval by the FDA or U.S. Department of Agriculture. When approving a food additive, the FDA studies what is in the substance, how safe it is when consumed by people and what amount is it safe to consume. From here, the FDA may approve an additive, but it’s subject for several regulations and continuing studies. Even if a food additive is approved by the FDA–due to a lot of probabilities and limitations involved in the study and that not all angles can be checked–no food additive can be absolutely and irrefutably considered safe.

There are thousands of food additives in the FDA database. One of which is Propyl Gallate.

Propyl Gallate

Propyl Gallate is an artificial food additive with antioxidating qualities. It can be found in food, food packaging products and personal care products. Propyl Gallate is common in foods containing fat such as vegetable oil, mayonnaise, chips and many more. It prevents fat and oil from oxidizing. Oxidation can cause food spoilage. As an antioxidant or free radical scavenger, it helps maintain the freshness of food. In personal care products, such as cosmetics, propyl gallate helps in maintaining its color and texture. It also helps in retaining the effectiveness of the product by averting the damage that oxidation may cause to the active ingredients.

Dangers of Propyl Gallate

Propyl Gallate can trigger an allergic reaction in some people, resulting to an asthma attack. It may also cause stomach and skin irritation. Damage to the liver and kidney may also be possible.

National Toxicology Program conducted a scientific experiment on rats and mice of both female and male genders. A group of rats and mice was dosed with Propyl Gallate while the other group was not. In the experiment, the result shows that the levels of evidence of carcinogenicity–the tendencity to cause cancer– for female rats and mice are negative. On the male rats and mice, however, results were equivocal. Increased incidences of Adenoma–benign tumor, Adenocarcinoma and Carcinoma (types of cancer)–were observed in the preputial gland and pancreas islet cell of some male rats and mice. Pheochromocytoma in the adrenal glands was also observed in dosed male rats and mice. Based on the conditions of the experiment, there is no sufficient statistical evidence to say that Propyl Gallate can cause tumors and certain types of cancer. The tumors and certain types of cancer may or may not be a result of the administration of the compound.

It is important to check not only the nutritional content, but the ingredients of the foods you buy. This way, you are sure that you are only buying the food that will be good for your body.


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