Improving scientific knowledge on food contaminants to ensure safer products
Task Force Information
As food contaminants poses a threat to consumers’ health, it is crucial to improve our knowledge about them. As such, the Food Contaminants Task Force.
- Advance scientific knowledge on food contaminants – process-related contaminants, natural toxins, and other environmental contaminants – particularly focusing on assessing impacts on human health
- Address research gaps in toxicity, exposure, and analytical aspects of food contaminants
- Review & evaluate mitigation measures and support for risk management strategies for food contaminants.
Task Force Members
* Scientific Advisors
For more detailed information, please contact Konrad Korzeniowski at firstname.lastname@example.org or Belinda Antonio at email@example.com
Update on Risk-Benefit Assessment of foods: approaches to facilitate application - Ongoing -
An expert group on risk-benefits assessment of foods explores the reasons for limited application and seek practical solutions to increase the utility of this methodology in foods.
Prioritisation of natural toxins for risk management action based on both public health risk and mitigation efficacy - Upcoming -
An expert group on prioritisation of natural toxins for risk management action will kick-off end of 2022. This activity will establish a framework for the prioritisation of natural toxins in foods following a risk-based approach.
New activity on the definition of Food Contaminants - Upcoming -
This activity aims to gather and combine definitions of food contaminants and organise a workshop with a publication as an output.
- Upcoming -
Early career scientists’ event will take place in the Q1 of 2023
Update on Risk-Benefit Assessment of foods: approaches to facilitate application
Background and Objectives
All foods contain chemical and biological impurities some of which may be viewed as contaminants of toxicological or microbiological relevance, depending on the definition used. Classical risk assessment does not reconcile the benefit to health of the food against the potential effects of the contaminants or the impact of mitigation measures that may be applied to reduce contaminants. A contaminant-centric view of a food can result in an incomplete understanding of the net health benefits of food by groups such as policy makers.
As such, methods for the comparison between benefits and risks have been developed, including the publication of guidance materials. Despite the availability of guidance, there have been a limited number of examples of risk-benefit analysis being used as an input for the risk management of foods by food safety agencies.
This activity will review the evolution and application of risk-benefit assessment since its infancy, and thereby understand:
Why risk-benefit assessment has not been more widely applied by food safety agencies in Europe?
What are the available applications of RBA since the publication of guidance and what are the lessons learned?
Whether existing guidance can be amended to improve applicability?
The above learnings will be tested via a limited number of worked examples and summarized in a peer-reviewed publication.
Expert Group Members
The Role of Hazard- and Risk-Based Approaches in Ensuring Food Safety
A Framework to Determine the Effectiveness of Dietary Exposure Mitigation to Chemical Contaminants
Food and Chemical Toxicology. 2014;74:360-371. Commissioned by the Process-related Compounds and Natural Toxins Task Force.
Analytical Approaches for MCPD Esters and Glycidyl Esters in Food and Biological Samples – A Review and Future Perspectives
Food Additives and Contaminants: Part A. 2013;30(1):11-45. Commissioned by the Risk Assessment of Chemicals in Food Task Force.
Fatty Acid Esters of Monochloropropanediol (MCPD) and Glycidol in Refined Edible Oils
Food Additives & Contaminants: Part A. 2013;30(1):46-51. Commissioned by the Process-Related Compounds Task Force.
Masked Mycotoxins: A Review
Molecular Nutrition and Food Research. 2013;57(1):165-186. The aim of this review is to give a comprehensive overview of the current knowledge on plant metabolites of mycotoxins, also called masked mycotoxins.
‘Mycotoxin Prevention and Control: Food Processing Mitigation Strategies’
Watch the Webinar
Click here to watch the Podcast on 'Dietary Exposure Mitigation to Chemical Contaminants'
Completed Expert Groups
Overview of completed activities since 2021
Process-Related Contaminants as an Example for Holistic Dosimetry of Endogenous and Exogenous Exposures
Mineral Oil Risk Assessment: Knowledge Gaps and Roadmap (collaboration with Packaging Materials Task Force)