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Chemical hazards in food and feed

Research projects related to the programme

Occurrence of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids in Food

Samples of tea, herbal infusions, honey and plant-based supplements were analysed for pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs). Overall, the levels were low and similar to other published reports. Exposure to PAs should be minimised as they can be harmful to human health.

Bio-Based Materials for Use in Food Contact Applications

This report contains a review of evidence relating to potential risks and other unintended consequences of replacing oil-based plastic food packaging and other food contact materials with bio-based food contact materials (BBFCMs). It covers data from a range of sources including scientific literature and grey literature (e.g. government, not-for-profit organisation, academic and industry reports).

Contaminants in duck and other speciality eggs

The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of a range of regulated and emerging organic environmental contaminants in duck and other non-hen eggs that are available for sale in the UK

Total diet study: metals and other elements

The Total Diet Study (TDS) represents the average UK diet and is used to estimate the dietary exposure of the general UK population to a range of chemicals in food and make assessments on the safety and/or nutritional quality of food.

Levels of N-nitroso compounds (NOC) in UK consumed foods

The study investigated a range of foods to identify and quantify the level of N-nitroso compounds (NOC) formed during the manufacturing process. Measurement of apparent total nitroso compounds (ATNC) was used to screen for the presence of NOC and methodology developed to try and identify and quantity the NOC present. The levels of NOC found were low and unlikely to be a risk to health.

Analyses of lead levels in tea

Lead is a naturally occurring chemical contaminant that is present in soil, water and the atmosphere, including as the result of human activities in the past. Due to its presence in the environment, lead is likely to occur at low levels in a wide range of foods including tea. Plants including tea plants can uptake lead via their roots and by deposition on foliage. This is not a new risk and people are exposed to lead in their diet from many sources. It is not possible to avoid exposure to lead from food.

Monitoring of tropane alkaloids in food

A total of 338 UK samples of cereal based products, vegetables, oilseeds and teas, and 17 single grain flours sampled directly at mills were analysed for tropane alkaloids (TAs). TAs were detected at low levels in 18% of the samples.

Infant Metals Survey

A survey of metals and other elements in commercial infant foods, infant formula and non-infant specific foods

FACET (Flavourings, Additives and food Contact materials Exposure Task)

FACET is a publicly available exposure assessment software system which will estimate exposure to flavours, additives and food contact materials across Europe. It reflects the real exposure of a targeted population to a food chemical, taking into account the variability of concentration and the real occurrence for each food category.

Acrylamide in the home: the effects of home-cooking on acrylamide generation

This research aims to explore the issue of acrylamide generation from the consumer perspective. It will fill a gap in understanding around the extent to which consumers are exposed to acrylamide, and the cooking practices and behaviours consumers engage in which potentially influence their level of exposure.

Survey of acrylamide and furan in UK retail products 2011-13

During the period of November 2011 to December 2012, this survey sampled a wide range of 300 UK retail products that included French fries, bread, cereals, biscuits, coffee, baby food, popcorn, cakes, pastries and chocolate. There were 294 analyses for acrylamide and 113 for furan, on a combination of the retail products.