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Keywords:

  • Ames test;
  • long-term storage;
  • low-moisture food;
  • mutagen;
  • rice

ABSTRACT:  Certain reactions that occur in food during storage, such as nonenzymatic browning and lipid oxidation, form compounds that have been shown to be mutagenic. It is possible that over long storage periods, significant amounts of these products could be formed. Although some research has been published concerning the mutagenicity of foods due to processing or cooking, little research has been done regarding mutagenicity of foods stored for an extended time. The objective of this research was to determine the potential mutagenicity of white rice held in accelerated and long-term storage using the Ames Salmonella/microsome assay. Fresh long-grain white rice was packaged in foil laminate pouches and held at 60 °C for 18 wk. Rice stored for > 25 y in an oxygen-free environment at or below room temperature in size number 10 cans was obtained from residential storage. The standard plate-incorporation method was used to evaluate the mutagenic potential of all treatments using Salmonella typhimurium tester strains TA97a, TA98, TA100, and TA102. Samples were plated at 5 dilutions with and without rat liver S9 enzyme. A solvent control was also plated for each strain. Treatments yielding counts at least double the solvent control level were considered mutagenic. Plate counts for all treatments fell well below the required doubling of the solvent control value. White rice held in accelerated and long-term storage appears not to increase in mutagenic compounds as measured by the Ames assay, supporting its use for long-term storage purposes such as emergency preparedness and humanitarian food aid.