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Dangerous Caution Safe

Uses: Typical products include biscuits, cakes, fats and oils, cereals, pastry and pastry products, sweets, edible oils, chewing gum, fats, margarine, nuts, instant potato products, polyethylene food wraps and medicines. Other names: 2,6-di-tert-butyl-4-methylphenol, 2,6-bis(1,1-dimethylethyl)-4-methylphenol.

There is evidence that BHT causes cell division.

Not permitted in infant foods, can provoke an allergic reaction in some people, may trigger hyperactivity, asthma and other intolerance's; serious concerns over carcinogenic and estrogenic effects, in large doses caused tumours in lab animals.

Banned in Japan in 1958, official committees of experts recommended that it be banned in the UK, however due to industry pressure it was not banned, McDonald's eliminated BHT from their US products by 1986 but is still in UK food.

Description: Butylated Hydroxytoluene BHT is petroleum based, and is a synthesised version of vitamin E. It is designed to reduce the harmful effects of oxygen in food and is therefore described as an antioxidant. It is often used in conjunction with the Gallates E 310 - E 312.

It is widely used as an antioxidant and preservative, and is prepared from p-cresol and isobutylene. It is one of the most commonly used antioxidants for food oils and fats and is much cheaper than BHA although it has more limited applications due to instability at high temperatures.

BHT has been used in the preparations of medicines used to treat Benign Prostatic Hypertrophy, BPH, or enlarged prostate and also in statins used to treat diabetes but there may be concerns that it could cause cancer and other side effects, see E1520

E321 Butylated Hydroxytoluene   BHT

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