Genotoxicity of modified starch

The genotoxicity of modified starches was evaluated using an in silico approach due to the lack of available genotoxicity studies. The OECD QSAR Toolbox was used to identify structural alerts for genotoxicity for several modified starches, including distarch phosphate, phosphated distarch phosphate, distarch adipate, acetylated distarch phosphate, acetylated starch, acetylated distarch adipate, hydroxypropyl starch, hydroxypropyl distarch phosphate, and starch sodium octenyl succinate. No relevant structural alerts for genotoxicity were found for several of these modified starches. However, the alkyl hydroperoxide structural alert was triggered by distarch adipate, which can generate radicals that may elicit DNA damage. The genotoxic effects induced by this structural alert are generally more relevant in vitro than in vivo, as the whole organism is better able to cope with the formation of reactive oxygen species. An alert for acylation was highlighted for several modified starches, but the relevance of this alert for genotoxicity is unclear. One additional structural alert was detected for all listed compounds, but it is not considered relevant. Overall, the Panel concluded that the in silico analysis did not identify any relevant alert for genotoxicity, and modified starches do not raise concern for genotoxicity.

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