The Acceptable Daily Intake: A Tool for Ensuring Food Safety

ILSI Europe Concise Monograph

The Acceptable Daily Intake, ADI, is an estimate of the amount of a food additive that can be ingested daily over a lifetime without appreciable health risk. This internationally accepted concept is applied when estimating the safe levels of food additives, pesticides and veterinary drugs. It provides a basis for the legislation in the area of food and drinking water. The public concerns regarding the safety of food and foodstuff necessitate greater transparency of the approved scientific evaluations. Providing a means for understanding the ADI concept will increase this transparency, improving the knowledge, and thus the confidence, of the general public with regard to food safety assessments.

ILSI Europe’s ADI Task Force initiated this Concise Monograph to focus on the ADI as a valuable approach for ensuring intake without appreciable health risk. The booklet includes science presented during workshops organised by ILSI Europe on “Scientific Evaluation of the Safety Factor for the Acceptable Daily Intake” (1992), “Applicability of the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) to Infants and Children” (1997) and “The Significance of Excursions of Intake above the Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI)” (1998). Presented in the first chapters of the monograph is a historical view and description of the ADI and derived thresholds, as well as the current use of ADI for approval of food additives, pesticides and veterinary drugs.

Successive chapters review criteria for establishing an ADI, toxicity testing methods, intake considerations, applicability and related topics, providing an essential overview of the subject. The booklet also takes into account new developments such as data-derived safety factors and the benchmark approach. This publication is intended to be a valuable resource for all individuals actively involved in the debate on food safety.

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