Some observations on the genotoxicity of the yellow food dye in Allium cepa meristematic cells

DOI: 10.7904/2068-4738-X(20)-46


 1Department of Agricultural and Forestry Technologies, Faculty of Agronomy, University of Craiova, Craiova, ROMANIA

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Abstract. Processed foods, such as coloured commercial sweets, can be dangerous to the health of consumers, especially for children, because they hide many artificial food dyes. These dyestuffs do not improve absolutely the taste of the food, but give them the most extraordinary shades to attract children. The purpose of this paper was to observe, from cytogenetic point of view, the influence of one of the commonly artificial food colours (AFCs) used for the colouring of commercially sweets, namely Yellow food dye (YFD), using as a testing plant the species Allium cepa (onion). The meristematic roots of A. cepa were exposed for 6 hours at 4 different dye concentrations, namely: 1, 3, 5 and 6%, along with an untreated control. The results obtained showed that, especially at high concentrations, YFD induced both a mitodepresive effect in the A. cepa meristematic cells and a significant genotoxic effect by the occurrence of some chromosomal abnormalities such as multipolar anaphases, stickiness and C–mitosis. The cytogenetic effect was more pronounced with the increase of dye concentration. These results suggest caution in the consumption of commercial coloured sweets, especially by children, who are attracted by the beautiful colours.

Keyword: YFD, A. cepa, mitodepresive, genotoxicity

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