• 1 Nutrition and Dietetics Department, Faculty of Allied Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpu, Malaysia
Food Chem Toxicol, 2008 Jan;46(1):368-74.
PMID: 17900779


Malaysian locally processed raw food products are widely used as main ingredients in local cooking. Previous studies showed that these food products have a positive correlation with the incidence of cancer. The cytotoxicity effect was evaluated using MTT assay (3-(4,5-dimetil-2-thiazolil)-2,5-diphenyl-2H-tetrazolium bromide) against Chang liver cells at 2000 microg/ml following 72 h incubation. Findings showed all methanol extracts caused a tremendous drop in the percentage of cell viability at 2000 microg/ml (shrimp paste - 41.69+/-3.36%, salted fish - 37.2+/-1.06%, dried shrimp - 40.32+/-1.8%, p<0.05). To detect DNA damage in a single cell, alkaline Comet Assay was used. None of the extracts caused DNA damage to the Chang liver cells at 62.5 microg/ml following 24 h incubation, as compared to the positive control, hydrogen peroxide (tail moment - 9.50+/-1.50; tail intensity - 30.50+/-2.50). Proximate analysis which was used for the evaluation of macronutrients in food showed that shrimp paste did not comply with the protein requirement (<25%) as in Food Act 1983. Salt was found in every sample with the highest percentage being detected in shrimp paste which exceeded 20%. Following heavy metal analysis (arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury), arsenic was found in every sample with dried shrimps showing the highest value as compared to the other samples (6.16 mg/kg). In conclusion, several food extracts showed cytotoxic effect but did not cause DNA damage against Chang liver cells. Salt was found as the main additive and arsenic was present in every sample, which could be the probable cause of the toxicity effects observed.

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