Determination of the main impurities formed after acid hydrolysis of soybean extracts and thein vitromutagenicity and genotoxicity studies of 5-ethoxymethyl-2-furfural

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Soybean acid hydrolyzed extracts are raw-materials widely used for manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics products due to their high content of isoflavone aglycones. In the present study, the main sugar degradation products 5-hydroxymethyl-2-furfural (HMF) and 5-ethoxymethyl-2-furfural (EMF) were quantitatively determined after acid hydrolysis of extracts from different soybean cultivars by a validated liquid chromatography method. The furanic compounds determined in samples cover the range of 0.16–0.21 mg/mL and 0.22–0.33 mg/mL for HMF and EMF, respectively. Complementarily, due to the scarce literature regarding the EMF toxicology, this study also assessed the EMF mutagenicity by the Salmonella/microsome test and genotoxicity by the comet assay. The results revealed that EMF did not show mutagenicity at the range of 50–5000 μg/plate in S. typhimurium strains TA98, TA97a, TA100, TA102 and TA1535, but induced DNA damage in HepG2 cells at non-cytotoxic doses of 0.1–1.3 mg/mL, mainly by oxidative stress mechanisms. Based on literature of HMF genotoxicity, and considering the EMF genotoxicity results herein shown, purification procedures to remove these impurities from extracts are recommended during healthcare products development to ensure the security of the products.

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