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Review

Alkenylbenzenes in Foods: Aspects Impeding the Evaluation of Adverse Health Effects

1
Department of Food Safety, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Max-Dohrn-Str. 8-10, 10589 Berlin, Germany
2
Department of Pesticides Safety, German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), Max-Dohrn-Str. 8-10, 10589 Berlin, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rinaldo Botondi
Foods 2021, 10(9), 2139; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092139
Received: 9 August 2021 / Revised: 3 September 2021 / Accepted: 7 September 2021 / Published: 10 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Natural Compounds in Plant-Based Food)
Alkenylbenzenes are naturally occurring secondary plant metabolites, primarily present in different herbs and spices, such as basil or fennel seeds. Thus, alkenylbenzenes, such as safrole, methyleugenol, and estragole, can be found in different foods, whenever these herbs and spices (or extracts thereof) are used for food production. In particular, essential oils or other food products derived from the aforementioned herbs and spices, such as basil-containing pesto or plant food supplements, are often characterized by a high content of alkenylbenzenes. While safrole or methyleugenol are known to be genotoxic and carcinogenic, the toxicological relevance of other alkenylbenzenes (e.g., apiol) regarding human health remains widely unclear. In this review, we will briefly summarize and discuss the current knowledge and the uncertainties impeding a conclusive evaluation of adverse effects to human health possibly resulting from consumption of foods containing alkenylbenzenes, especially focusing on the genotoxic compounds, safrole, methyleugenol, and estragole. View Full-Text
Keywords: alkenylbenzenes; food; consumption; regulation; mixtures alkenylbenzenes; food; consumption; regulation; mixtures
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MDPI and ACS Style

Eisenreich, A.; Götz, M.E.; Sachse, B.; Monien, B.H.; Herrmann, K.; Schäfer, B. Alkenylbenzenes in Foods: Aspects Impeding the Evaluation of Adverse Health Effects. Foods 2021, 10, 2139. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092139

AMA Style

Eisenreich A, Götz ME, Sachse B, Monien BH, Herrmann K, Schäfer B. Alkenylbenzenes in Foods: Aspects Impeding the Evaluation of Adverse Health Effects. Foods. 2021; 10(9):2139. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092139

Chicago/Turabian Style

Eisenreich, Andreas, Mario E. Götz, Benjamin Sachse, Bernhard H. Monien, Kristin Herrmann, and Bernd Schäfer. 2021. "Alkenylbenzenes in Foods: Aspects Impeding the Evaluation of Adverse Health Effects" Foods 10, no. 9: 2139. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092139

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