Considering New Methodologies in Strategies for Safety Assessment of Foods and Food Ingredients

Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2016;91:19-35. Commissioned by the New Approaches to Chemical Risk Assessment Task Force.

Toxicology is undergoing a change whereby the risk assessment of chemicals will be evaluated based on knowledge of toxicity mechanisms rather than animal endpoint studies. This manuscript outlines a roadmap for the chemical safety evaluation for foods and food ingredients (including case studies in which such procedures have been successfully applied) and presents recommendations on current issues associated with such an approach. 

Toxicology and safety assessment are changing and require new strategies for evaluating risk that are less dependent on apical toxicity endpoints in animal models and more reliant on knowledge of the mechanism of toxicity. This manuscript describes a number of developments that could contribute to the upcoming changes in chemical risk assessments and suggests a stepwise roadmap that can be applied for the evaluation of food and food ingredients.

The roadmap was evaluated in four case studies by using literature and existing data. The preliminary evaluation of the roadmap was shown to be useful. However, the use of this roadmap as a guidance tool should be extended by including examples where experimental work needs to be included. To further implement these new insights in toxicology and safety assessment for the area of food and food ingredients, the authors conclude that stakeholders should take action to address gaps in our knowledge, e.g. with regard to the applicability of the suggested roadmap tool for mixtures and food matrices. Further development of the threshold of toxicological concern is needed, as well as cooperation with other sectors where similar schemes are under development. Moreover, a more comprehensive evaluation of the roadmap, also including the identification of the need for in vitro experimental work is recommended.


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