Safety and Mutagenicity Evaluation of Nanoparticulate Red Mold Rice

Institute of Microbiology and Biochemistry, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Republic of China.
Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (Impact Factor: 3.11). 11/2008; 56(22):11038-48. DOI: 10.1021/jf801335u
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Nowadays, people have recognized the importance of Monascus fermented products due to their many health benefits. A previous study demonstrated a novel formulation approach for the preparation of nanoparticulate red mold rice (NRMR). The aim of this study is to determine the useability of stable NRMR dispersion by evaluating its safety and mutagenicity with the Ames test. The crude red mold rice (RMR) was processed using a wet milling technology in the presence of distilled water to form an aqueous-based nanoparticle dispersion with a mean particle size of 259.3 nm. The formulated diepersion was found to be homogeneous and exhibited unimodal particle size distribution when analyzed by dynamic laser scattering techniques. Ames test results indicated that the equivalent of up to 1 mg of ethanol extract of RMR per plate exhibited no genotoxicity toward Salmonella typhimurium strains TA 98, TA 100, and TA 102. In the feeding toxicity test, the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of NRMR was found to be 1000 mg/kg/day for both male and female rats. In conclusion, red mold rice can be formulated as a stable nanoparticulate dispersion using wet milling technology. In vitro and in vivo safety evaluations of NRMR indicated that no mutagenic or toxic responses were observed in this study.

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    ABSTRACT: Monascus-fermented products, including red mold rice and red mold dioscorea, have been developed as functional foods with many health benefits. We performed safety and mutagenic evaluations on red mold dioscorea powder (RMDP) fermented from M. purpureus NTU 568. The results of Ames test using Salmonella typhimurium strains TA97a, TA98, TA100, TA102, and TA1535 showed that RMDP (⩽5 mg/plate) was not mutagenic. The mammalian chromosomal aberration test showed that the number of Chinese hamster ovary cells with abnormal chromosomes was <3% after RMDP treatment (maximum concentration: 5 mg/mL). Imprinting control region mice were used to estimate the genotoxicity of RMDP. Compared with the control, high-dose RMDP administration (2000 mg/kg) did not show significant differences in the number of reticulocytes or the occurrence of micronucleated reticulocytes. A 28-day oral toxicity assay in Sprague-Dawley rats was performed to investigate the no observed adverse effect level of RMDP. Compared with the control, high-dose RMDP administration (2000 mg/kg) caused no toxicological responses such as mortality, variation in body weight, or toxicopathologic lesions. Thus, RMDP from M. purpureus NTU 568 shows no significant mutagenic or toxic effects.
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    ABSTRACT: The genus Monascus, comprising nine species, can reproduce either vegetatively with filaments and conidia or sexually by the formation of ascospores. The most well-known species of genus Monascus, namely, M. purpureus, M. ruber and M. pilosus, are often used for rice fermentation to produce red yeast rice, a special product used either for food coloring or as a food supplement with positive effects on human health. The colored appearance (red, orange or yellow) of Monascus-fermented substrates is produced by a mixture of oligoketide pigments that are synthesized by a combination of polyketide and fatty acid synthases. The major pigments consist of pairs of yellow (ankaflavin and monascin), orange (rubropunctatin and monascorubrin) and red (rubropunctamine and monascorubramine) compounds; however, more than 20 other colored products have recently been isolated from fermented rice or culture media. In addition to pigments, a group of monacolin substances and the mycotoxin citrinin can be produced by Monascus. Various non-specific biological activities (antimicrobial, antitumor, immunomodulative and others) of these pigmented compounds are, at least partly, ascribed to their reaction with amino group-containing compounds, i.e. amino acids, proteins or nucleic acids. Monacolins, in the form of β-hydroxy acids, inhibit hydroxymethylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase, a key enzyme in cholesterol biosynthesis in animals and humans.
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