Scope. Certain food emulsifiers may interfere with gut barrier function in ways correlating to increased exposure to allergens. Understanding the consequences of interactions between these food ingredients and the intestinal epithelium is important for evaluating allergen dose exposure characteristics. Methods and Results. This study challenged Caco-2 cell monolayers, an in vitro model of human intestinal epithelial tight junctions with synthetic polysorbate-80 or natural lecithin alone, or in combination with known allergens (egg proteins: ovalbumin, ovomucoid, and ovotransferrin; and a synthetic form of galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose [alpha-gal], an allergen of increasing concern). For most doses of individual emulsifiers and allergens, >90% cell viability and <15% cytotoxicity are observed; however, toxicity increased at a 0.5% concentration of emulsifiers. At low cytotoxic concentration (0.2%), only polysorbate-80 treatment reduced monolayer integrity (≈20%) with increased lucifer yellow passage. Dose-related differences in expression of tight junction-associated genes and occludin protein are observed with emulsifier treatments. The transport of...

You do not currently have access to this content.