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Pharmacokinetics and Biodistribution of the Illegal Food Colorant Rhodamine B in Rats

Cheng, Yung-Yi, Tsai, Tung-Hu
Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 2017 v.65 no.5 pp. 1078-1085
bioavailability, brain, carcinogens, fluorescence, food coloring, food safety, high performance liquid chromatography, kidneys, liver, pharmacokinetics, rats
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) demonstrated rhodamine B as a potential carcinogen in 1978. Nevertheless, rhodamine B has been illegally used as a colorant in food in many countries. Few pharmacokinetic and toxicological investigations have been performed since the first pharmacokinetic study on rhodamine B in 1961. The aims of this study were to develop a simple and sensitive high-performance liquid chromatography method with fluorescence detection for the quantitative detection of rhodamine B in the plasma and organs of rats and to estimate its pharmacokinetics and biodistribution. The results demonstrated that the oral bioavailabilities of rhodamine B were 28.3 and 9.8% for the low-dose and high-dose exposures, respectively. Furthermore, rhodamine B was highly accumulated in the liver and, to a lesser extent, the kidney, but was undetectable in the brain. These results provide useful information for improving the pharmacokinetics and biodistribution of rhodamine B, supporting additional food safety evaluations.