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Chemical hazards in food and feed

 What is the impact of chemical hazards (including nanomaterials and microplastics) in food and feed and how can we reduce it?   

Chemicals are present in foods and feeds. Some are added intentionally, for example food additives, whilst others are present due to contamination, either from the environment, processes or malicious intent.

Undertaking research on chemicals which may be present in food and feed allows FSA risk assessors to evaluate the potential risk to health that could arise from exposure to these chemicals.

The aim of this Area of Research Interest (ARI) is to support and improve the FSA’s evidence base to keep the consumer safe and ensure that food is what it says it is. Research under this ARI, including surveys and other research projects, will provide FSA scientists and policymakers with current and reliable information on chemicals in food and feed. 

Surveys help us to determine the levels of chemicals of interest present in food and feed which are available on the UK market. This allows more reliable exposure evaluation in risk assessments to be undertaken and, if necessary, risk management to be put in place to protect the consumer. Surveys can also identify any patterns in the data and whether there are any chemicals, food or situations that may need closer scrutiny.

Research to improve our understanding of chemicals and how they interact with our bodies to allows us to make more informed decisions regarding the safety of food and feed. Other projects may be undertaken which would provide FSA scientists, and our independent expert advisors, with a better understanding of methodologies used for assessment of chemical safety and how these may be used in future regulation of chemicals in food. 

FSA projects do not undertake safety testing of regulated products, the responsibility of which lies with the manufacturer.


Research projects related to the programme

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