Musk is an important crude drug in Traditional Chinese Medicine and is used in the manufacture of perfume. Traditionally, the gland was picked after killing the male deer. As a highly valued ingredient of Chinese medical remedies, the wide use of this substance has made this animal near the edge of extinction. Hence it is necessary to find a substitute for the same or similar use. The gland from nutria (Myocastor coypus) has been used as a musk substitute in some Taiwan areas. To assess the safety of nutria gland extract (NE), we carried out this study. For the safety evaluation, we have completed the animal toxicity testing including the single dose oral acute and repeated dose subacute toxicity, and genotoxicity. At 5 g/Kg dosage, no lethality and obvious acute toxicity were observed. At repeated treatment with NE 1 g/Kg for 28 days, no subacute toxicity was noticed. Genotoxicity was accessed by the Ames test in Salmonella typhimurium strains TA97, TA98, TA100, TA102 and TA1535. Result indicated that NE did not induce revertant increase in bacteria. Results of the current study support the safety of the use of NE, and the acute, subacute toxicity and genotoxicity are not observed in this study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-390
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Food and Drug Analysis
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • Chemical analysis
  • Muscone
  • Nutria
  • Safety assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Pharmacology


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