Evaluation of the Budget Method for Screening Food Additive Intakes

Food Additives & Contaminants. 1997;14(8):791-802

The Budget Method, originally developed for determining food additive use limits, has been proposed as a tool for screening food additive intakes to establishing monitoring priorities. Theoretical Maximum Daily Intake (TMDI) estimates derived using the Budget Method rely on assumptions regarding physiological requirements for energy and liquid and on the energy density of food rather than on food consumption survey data. This report summarizes work performed to determine the validity of Budget Method assumptions and to assess the potential for error in assigning monitoring priority based on Budget Method results. Budget Method assumptions regarding energy and liquid intake were compared with data from UK, German and US nationwide food consumption surveys. It was found that the Budget Method assumptions of energy intake and liquid intake are higher than mean intakes reported in surveys. The Budget Method assumption regarding energy density of foods also was found to be a slight overestimate. Budget Method TMDIs for case study additives were in each case larger than survey-based 95th percentile per capita additive intake estimates. Based on these results, the Budget Method appears to be a suitably conservative screen for establishing additive monitoring priorities based on potential lifetime average intakes.

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