NYMC Faculty Publications


Assessment of the Genotoxic Potential of Mintlactone

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Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology


Mintlactone (chemical name 3,6-dimethyl-5,6,7,7a-tetrahydro-1-benzofuran-2(4H)-one, CAS Number 13341-72-5) is a fragrance and flavor ingredient with reported uses in many different cosmetics, personal care, and household products. In order to evaluate the genotoxic potential of mintlactone, in vitro and in vivo genotoxicity tests were conducted. Results from bacterial mutagenicity tests varied across different batches of differing purity with positive results observed in TA98 only. An in vivo comet assay was also considered to be positive in livers of female mice but negative in male mice. In contrast, in vitro and in vivo micronucleus tests, as well as 3D skin comet/micronucleus tests, were negative, indicating no chromosomal or DNA damage. The underlying causes for these contradictory results are not clear. It appears that the purity and/or stability of the test material may be an issue. In the absence of dependable scientific information on the purity and/or storage stability of mintlactone, its safety for use as a fragrance ingredient cannot be substantiated.