Concentration of the Toxic Substance from 'Agenized' Flour

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IT was shown by Sir Edward Mellanby1 that flour, treated with nitrogen trichloride, as it is in the commercial 'Agene' process, is capable of causing fits in dogs, when fed in fairly large quantities. Further investigations have proved that the toxicity is associated with the gluten of the flour, and that the toxicity survives digestion with pepsin and with trypsin2. The recent publication in abstract by Reiner et al.3 of particulars of the fractionation and concentration of the toxic substance (mainly prepared by the action of nitrogen trichloride on zein), and the publication by Moran et al.4 of a method of concentration of the toxic substance from zein, make it desirable for us to give our own results.

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  1. 1

    Mellanby, Brit. Med. J., 288 (1947).

  2. 2

    Moran, Lancet, 289 (1947). Newell, Erickson, Gilson, Gershoff and Elvehjem, J. Amer. Med. Assoc., 760 (1947).

  3. 3

    Reiner, Weiss, Misani, Cordasco and Fair, Fed. Proc., 8, 230, 241 (1949).

  4. 4

    Bentley, McDermott, Pace, Whitehead and Moran, Nature, 163, 675 (1949).

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BUTLER, J., MILLS, G. Concentration of the Toxic Substance from 'Agenized' Flour. Nature 163, 835–836 (1949) doi:10.1038/163835b0

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