What is b-apo-8'-Carotenoic Acid Methyl or Ethyl Ester, and where is it used? b-apo-8’-Carotenoic acid methyl or ethyl ester, classified under the code E160f, is a food preservative and colourant commonly used in the food industry [1,2]. It belongs to the carotenoid family and is derived from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables. This additive plays a dual role. Firstly, it acts as an antioxidant to protect food from oxidative damage, and inhibits the growth of microorganisms, thus preserving the quality and safety of food. Secondly, it serves as a food colourant to deliver a vibrant orange to sauces, dressings, confectionaries, and beverages, elevating an appetising appearance. b-apo-8’-Carotenoic acid methyl ester and b-apo-8’-Carotenoic acid ethyl ester are two forms of this food additive, each with its own characteristics and applications :
Methyl Ester: b-apo-8’-Carotenoic acid methyl ester is obtained by esterifying the carotenoid compound with methanol. It is commonly used in fat-based food products such as margarine, spreads, and oil-based dressings. The methyl ester form provides better solubility in lipid-based matrices, allowing for easier incorporation into these products.
Ethyl Ester: On the other hand, b-apo-8’-Carotenoic acid ethyl ester is obtained by esterifying the carotenoid compound with ethanol. This form is often used in water-based food products such as beverages, syrups, and aqueous sauces. The ethyl ester form exhibits improved solubility in water, making it suitable for applications where water-based systems are involved.
It is important to note that the choice between methyl and ethyl ester forms depends on the specific food product and its formulation requirements.
Purported Health Implications
While b-apo-8’-Carotenoic acid methyl or ethyl ester is primarily used as a food preservative and colourant, it is important to note that it is not typically associated with specific health benefits. Carotenoids, including b-apo-8’-Carotenoic acid methyl or ethyl ester, are known for their antioxidant properties, which may have positive effects on overall health [4,5].
Recommendations for Safe Consumption
b-apo-8’-Carotenoic acid methyl or ethyl ester has undergone rigorous safety assessments by regulatory authorities, ensuring its suitability for use in food products.
Regulatory Approval: b-apo-8’-Carotenoic acid methyl or ethyl ester has been evaluated and approved by regulatory authorities such as Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ), the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and other relevant bodies [6,7]. These approvals specify the permitted levels of usage to ensure the safety of food products.
Dietary Intake: The overall dietary exposure to b-apo-8’-Carotenoic acid methyl or ethyl ester is considered to be within safe limits [8,9]. Consumption primarily comes from food sources, and the usage levels of this additive are regulated to ensure its safety.
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We do our best to source robust information from a number of credible sources. There is, however, a large amount of information on various aspects of nutritional elements along with claims in terms of their contribution to helping in body health which may contradict the above.