A Framework to Determine the Effectiveness of Dietary Exposure Mitigation to Chemical Contaminants

Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2014;74:360-371

This article proposes a new framework to analyse whether mitigation measures are efficiently reducing food contaminants.

There have been significant developments over the last decades in risk assessment models, methods and ways of defining outcomes. An equivalent development has not as yet occurred in measuring effectiveness of exposure mitigation, or determining potential increase in exposure upon accidental pollution or changed patterns of consumption. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a systematic approach for determining the effectiveness of mitigation measures to reduce dietary exposure to chemical contaminants. Based on expert opinion, a general framework for evaluation of the effectiveness of measures to reduce human exposure to food contaminants has been developed. The general outline was then refined by application of the framework to three different, carefully chosen, cases: 1) methyl mercury in fish and fish products, 2) deoxynivalenol in cereal grains and 3) furan in heated products. In assessing the impact of a mitigation strategy, a risk manager is usually faced with an extremely complex picture. Therefore, the presented conceptual framework can guide risk managers and experts to investigate the available information and systematically address uncertainties.

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