Identification of safety risks due to food intake

Generally, most people are of the opinion or believe that the food they ingest will not be harmful to their health. Still, from time to time the media reports cases that give rise to concern about food safety. Pesticide residues in food or drinking water, antibiotics in animal feed, hormones in meat, nitrate in green vegetables, new techniques in food processing such as application of biotechnology, and contamination are some examples of causes for concern. Consumers, when asked to indicate...

Flavoring agents

Flavor has a profound influence on the consumption of food. It imparts that quality to products by which they distinguish themselves. Flavoring agents make up the largest number of food additives. There are three types of flavoring additives flavorings, flavor enhancers, and (non-nutritive) sweeteners. More than 1500 substances are used as food flavorings. The majority are of natural origin or are nature-identical, and do not give rise to concern from a safety point of view. Only a few...

Role of the World Health Organization

The World Health Organization is an international advisory body with the overall aim of protecting human health. As far as toxicological risk assessment is concerned, it is not a legislative body. It backs national authorities in setting standards for the protection of human health. The International Program on Chemical Safety (IPCS) plays a guiding role in the international procedure of evaluating risks from chemicals and setting tolerances for residues of chemicals in food. Through the IPCS,...

Precision and validity

Measurements are important in epidemiology. That refers to the input variables (determinants exposure) as well as the outcome variables (adverse health effect disease mortality). For instance, in the case of a study on the relationship between magnesium intake and blood pressure, the investigator wants to know the blood pressure and magnesium intake of each subject. The measurements of these parameters are estimates of the true blood pressure and the true magnesium intake. These true values,...

Studies on determinants of dietary behavior

Research on determinants of dietary behavior is not as developed as research on other health behaviors, such as smoking and alcohol consumption. There is no clear conceptual framework. The few studies carried out give an ad hoc impression. One of the possible explanations for this is the earlier-mentioned complexity of the concept of dietary behavior. In addition, until recently the knowledge acquired in studies of other health behaviors had not been applied to dietary behavior many studies on...

Analysis of dietary data

Associations between food consumption on the one hand, and a biological variable or a disease on the other, can be studied on the basis of data on food as well as on nutrient intake. Studies on food intake have the advantage that their results can be easily translated into preventive actions. In order to get insight into the etiology of a disease, it is important to know which food component(s) is (are) responsible for the effect. For example, a protective effect of the consumption of fruits...

Examples of biomarkers of dietary intake

As far as macronutrients are concerned, a well-known biomarker for protein intake is the 24-hour nitrogen (N) excretion. If subjects are in N balance, daily urine N excretion is strongly related to daily N intake. Also for a number of micronutrients, i.e., vitamins, biomarkers are available. In the case of vitamin E, the plasma concentration is well related Figure 8.2 Blood plasma level-intake curves for vitamin E (a) and vitamin C (b). Figure 8.2 Blood plasma level-intake curves for vitamin E...

Food additives the antioxidants butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene

To preserve quality and to prevent loss of nutritional value, the addition of antioxidants to food containing fatty acids has a long tradition. Two well-known antioxidant food additives are butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) and butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) (see Figure 18.2). Although highly lipophilic, BHA and BHT do not accumulate in mammals. The reason for this is the efficient elimination of these chemicals from the body. In the case of BHA and BHT, the discussion on setting the dietary...

Use of food additives in relation to their safety

Food additives have been used since prehistoric times to maintain and improve the quality of food products. Smoke, alcohol, vinegar, oils, and spices have been used for more than 10,000 years to preserve foods. These and a small number of other chemicals, such as salts, copper, and chalk, were the major food additives used until the time of the Industrial Revolution. Since then many changes in food manufacturing and food distribution have taken place as a result of urbanization, the decrease in...

Toxic phenolic substances

More than 800 phenolic substances have been detected in plants. Many of them contribute to the bitter taste and flavor of foods, and some also contribute to color. These substances can be divided into two major groups on the basis of frequency of occurrence, structural relationship, and relative toxicity 1. widespread phenolic plant substances, often used in the production of foods and beverages. About 25 have been identified and only a few are present in relatively high concentrations in...

Preservatives

Preservatives are added to decrease the degradation rate of foods during processing and storage. They include antioxidants, antimicrobials and antibrowning agents. 5.2.3.1 Antioxidants Antioxidants primarily prevent or inhibit autoxidation of fatty acids see also Part I, Chapter 6 in food products and, consequently, the development of rancidity and off-flavor. They are especially useful in preserving dry and frozen foods for long periods of time. The major antioxidants for the protection of...

Central stimulants

For most people the everyday diet contains a considerable amount of stimulants. These substances increase the state of activity of the nervous system. A particular class of stimulants is the methylxanthines. They include caffeine, theophylline, and theobromine. Caffeine is found in coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans, and colanuts. In our diet the primary source of caffeine, however, is coffee one cup of coffee is estimated to contain 100 to 150 mg of caffeine. The caffeine content of cola...

Nonnutritive natural food components of important toxicological relevance

11.2.1.1 a-Aminopropionic acid derivatives a-Aminopropionic acid derivatives occur in peas of certain Lathyrus species. These substances are known to cause skeletal malformations osteolathyrism and neurotoxic effects Table 11.1 Nonnutritive natural food components that have given or still give rise to concern fatty acid rapeseed Cyclopropane and cyclopropene Carotatoxin poly-acetylene carrots Thujone a- and P- monoterpene spices component of absinthe liqueur D-limonene monoterpene citrus oil...

Microbial toxins 2331 Introduction

Section 2.3.3 deals with the way in which toxic substances produced in food and feed by microorganisms enter the pathway from raw material to consumer. Microorganisms are ubiquitous. Any environment supporting higher organisms contains microorganisms too, while the converse is not true. Absence of microorganisms in an environment indicates that special or unusual conditions have occurred, such as heating and filtration for sterilization or preservation. During food production, raw food...