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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2019

Increased urinary excretion of aluminium after ingestion of the food additive sodidum aluminium phosphate (SALP) - a study on healthy volunteers

Glynn, Anders; Lignell, Sanna


Food is an important source of human aluminium (Al) exposure and regular consumption of foods containing Al-based food additives may result in high Al intakes above health-based tolerable intakes. However, some additives are Al salts with low solubility, and little is known about bioavailability of Al in these additives. We investigated urine Al concentrations in healthy adult volunteers (N=18, women/men) before (base-line) and after 7days of ingestion of pancakes with a low Al content (median: <0.5 mg Al/kg) and high Al content (median: 860 mg/kg). The high-Al pancakes contained the common additive sodium aluminium phosphate (SALP). The participants did not know if the pancakes contained SALP or not during the experiment. After adjusting for creatinine content of the urine samples, median base-line Al concentrations before pancake ingestion were in the range 30-40mol Al/mol creatinine. Urine Al concentrations after ingestion of low-Al pancakes (average intake: <0.042 Al mg/day) did not differ significantly from the base-line levels. After ingestion of high-Al pancakes (72 mg Al/day) the median Al concentration in urine was more than 2-fold higher than at the base-line sampling before the high-Al pancake ingestion. At the end of the experiment the volunteers ingested an Al-containing antacid (Al-OH, 1800 mg Al/day) for 7days as a positive control of Al absorption. This caused a 10-fold increase in median urine Al concentration compared to base-line. Our results strongly suggest that Al in the form of SALP in a pancake mix is bioavailable for absorption in humans, which should be taken into account in risk assessment of Al in food in countries with a high use of SALP as a food additive.


Aluminium; exposure; food; antacid; urine

Published in

Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A: Chemistry, Analysis, Control, Exposure and Risk Assessment
2019, volume: 36, number: 8, pages: 1236-1243

Authors' information

Lignell, Sanna
National Food Agency

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG2 Zero hunger

UKÄ Subject classification

Food Science

Publication Identifiers


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