In 1998, the Joint World Health Organization (WHO), Food & Agriculture Organization (FAO), and expert committee on Food Additives evaluated 39 food flavoring agents, one of which was n-hexyl alcohol. N-hexyl alcohol is used as a solvent. It is also used in the manufacture of perfume, plasticizers, and antiseptics. The chemical is also used in the food & beverage industry. As an inert ingredient in formulation of pesticides, n-hexyl is used as a solvent in variety of pesticide products including those used in agriculture food crops, ornamental plants, animals, and for residential based pesticides such as insect and mosquito sprays. N-hexyl is slightly soluble in water and is miscible with alcohol, ether, and ethanol. N-hexyl alcohol is a clear colorless liquid. The flash point of n-hexyl alcohol is 149°F and the vapors formed by n-hexyl alcohol is heavier than air.
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According to several experiments, n-hexyl alcohol is toxic-free; thus, there is no harm to any population subgroup from aggregate exposure to n-hexyl alcohol. In addition to its natural occurrence, it is now used in the food & beverage industry as a flavor volatile. N-hexyl alcohol is readily biodegradable; therefore, it is unlikely that residues would be found on foods harvested or consumed and drinking water. N-hexyl alcohol occurs naturally in most fruits and vegetables. In formulation of pesticides, n-hexyl alcohol is used as an inert ingredient only. There are currently no registered pesticides products containing n-hexyl alcohol as an active ingredient. N-hexyl alcohol is used as a solvent in the perfume manufacturing industry.
N-hexyl alcohol is of low acute toxicity by oral and dermal routes; however, the chemical is moderately irritating to the skin and severely irritating to the eye. Based on several tests, n-hexyl alcohol was reported to be neurotoxic. There is no evidence that n-hexyl alcohol is carcinogenic. Several experiments were conducted on dogs, rats, and rabbits to detect the behavior after the direct consumption of n-hexyl alcohol. Many of these experiments stated tumor promoting activities and equivocal signs of neurotoxicity in the peripheral nervous system. However, no material toxicity was observed, which has augmented the commercialization of n-hexyl alcohol in several end-use industries.
The n-hexyl alcohol market can be segmented based on end-use industry into pesticides, food & beverage, antiseptics, plasticizers, and others. N-hexyl alcohol is used as a solvent in the manufacture of pesticides, antiseptics, and plasticizers. In the food & beverage industry, n-hexyl alcohol is used a flavor volatile. The chemical is approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) as a direct food additive
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Countries in North America, such as U.S. and Canada, are inclined toward R&D activities pertaining to safe and economical production of n-hexyl alcohol. After the successful testing of n-hexyl alcohol, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved it and sooner it would be used in several food & beverages items sold in the U.S., Canada, and other countries. Currently, North America and Europe are the only regions testing this chemical on a wider scale. Market penetration of this chemical in Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America would take some time. The U.S. is likely to utilize this chemical in several applications such as in the manufacture of pesticides, insecticides, plasticizers, antiseptics, and food and beverages.
Manufacturers and suppliers operating in the n-hexyl alcohol market include ShanDong Fine Chemical Co., Ltd. Hangzhou Dayang Chemical Co.,Ltd., and Xiamen Hisunny Chemical Co.,Ltd.