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Brussels, Belgium
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Houben G.,TNO | Burney P.,Imperial College London | Chan C.-H.,Food Standards Agency | Crevel R.,Unilever | And 6 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2016

Regulators and risk managers in general need to decide whether an allergenic food or ingredient is of such public health importance that it needs to be actively managed. There is therefore a need to scale the relative allergenicity of foods and ingredients according to the hazards they pose. Objective criteria increase transparency and trust in this decision-making process and its conclusions. This paper proposes a framework that allows categorisation and prioritisation of allergenic foods according to their public health importance. The challenge is to find a basis on which the allergenicity of foods can best be described and a method to combine the relevant measures of allergenicity into a scoring system that prioritises allergenic foods on the basis of their public health relevance. The framework is designed in accordance with the generic risk analysis principles used in food safety and can be used by regulators to decide whether or not a specific allergenic food or ingredient is of sufficient public health importance that it warrants regulation (i.e. mandatory labelling) when used in the production of food products. © 2016 The Authors.


Crevel R.W.R.,Unilever | Baumert J.L.,University of Nebraska - Lincoln | Luccioli S.,Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition | Baka A.,International Life science Institute ILSI Europe | And 6 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2014

Risk assessment describes the impact of a particular hazard as a function of dose and exposure. It forms the foundation of risk management and contributes to the overall decision-making process, but is not its endpoint. This paper outlines a risk analysis framework to underpin decision-making in the area of allergen cross-contact. Specifically, it identifies challenges relevant to each component of the risk analysis: risk assessment (data gaps and output interpretation); risk management (clear and realistic objectives); and risk communication (clear articulation of risk and benefit). Translation of the outputs from risk assessment models into risk management measures must be informed by a clear understanding of the model outputs and their limitations. This will lead to feasible and achievable risk management objectives, grounded in a level of risk accepted by the different stakeholders, thereby avoiding potential unintended detrimental consequences. Clear, consistent and trustworthy communications actively involving all stakeholders underpin these objectives. The conclusions, integrating the perspectives of different stakeholders, offer a vision where clear, science-based benchmarks form the basis of allergen management and labelling, cutting through the current confusion and uncertainty. Finally, the paper recognises that the proposed framework must be adaptable to new and emerging evidence. © 2014 ILSI Europe.


PubMed | University Utrecht, Food Standards Agency, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, Imperial College London and 5 more.
Type: | Journal: Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association | Year: 2016

Regulators and risk managers in general need to decide whether an allergenic food or ingredient is of such public health importance that it needs to be actively managed. There is therefore a need to scale the relative allergenicity of foods and ingredients according to the hazards they pose. Objective criteria increase transparency and trust in this decision-making process and its conclusions. This paper proposes a framework that allows categorisation and prioritisation of allergenic foods according to their public health importance. The challenge is to find a basis on which the allergenicity of foods can best be described and a method to combine the relevant measures of allergenicity into a scoring system that prioritises allergenic foods on the basis of their public health relevance. The framework is designed in accordance with the generic risk analysis principles used in food safety and can be used by regulators to decide whether or not a specific allergenic food or ingredient is of sufficient public health importance that it warrants regulation (i.e. mandatory labelling) when used in the production of food products.


PubMed | Nestlé, Coca Cola Services, Unilever, European Anaphylaxis Taskforce and Nederlands Anafylaxis Netwerk and 6 more.
Type: | Journal: Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association | Year: 2014

Risk assessment describes the impact of a particular hazard as a function of dose and exposure. It forms the foundation of risk management and contributes to the overall decision-making process, but is not its endpoint. This paper outlines a risk analysis framework to underpin decision-making in the area of allergen cross-contact. Specifically, it identifies challenges relevant to each component of the risk analysis: risk assessment (data gaps and output interpretation); risk management (clear and realistic objectives); and risk communication (clear articulation of risk and benefit). Translation of the outputs from risk assessment models into risk management measures must be informed by a clear understanding of the model outputs and their limitations. This will lead to feasible and achievable risk management objectives, grounded in a level of risk accepted by the different stakeholders, thereby avoiding potential unintended detrimental consequences. Clear, consistent and trustworthy communications actively involving all stakeholders underpin these objectives. The conclusions, integrating the perspectives of different stakeholders, offer a vision where clear, science-based benchmarks form the basis of allergen management and labelling, cutting through the current confusion and uncertainty. Finally, the paper recognises that the proposed framework must be adaptable to new and emerging evidence.


van Bilsen J.H.M.,TNO | Ronsmans S.,Coca Cola Services | Crevel R.W.R.,Unilever | Rona R.J.,King's College London | And 3 more authors.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology | Year: 2011

Identification of allergenic foods of public health importance should be based on well-defined criteria. Björkstén et al. (2008) proposed that the criteria should assess the evidence for an IgE mechanism, the reaction, the potency and the severity of the effect of the food and its prevalence. This study evaluated the application of the proposed criteria based on published reports. Publications were selected from two databases to test whether the descriptions for ranking the level of evidence for each criterion were unambiguous and covered the full range of levels of evidence regarding seven foods, five known to be allergenic and two negative controls. The options available to rank the quality of evidence were appropriate but needed refinement to improve clarity and conceptual value. The criteria were helpful to assess known IgE-dependent allergens, and to exclude the non-allergenic substances. The criteria framework discriminated between papers with high, moderate and low quality of evidence. The advantage of using the proposed criteria is to make the decision-making process and rationale explicit. The framework helps to identify gaps in knowledge and to uncover the level of heterogeneity of the evidence thus guiding research and providing a basis for sound risk management decisions. © 2011 ILSI Europe.


Chung Y.J.,Nestlé | Ronsmans S.,Coca Cola Services | Crevel R.W.R.,Unilever | Houben G.F.,Applied Scientific Research | And 4 more authors.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology | Year: 2012

Scientific criteria for identifying allergenic foods of public health importance (Björkstén, B., Crevel, R., Hischenhuber, C., Løvik, M., Samuels, F., Strobel, S., Taylor, S.L., Wal, J.-M., Ward, R., 2008. Criteria for identifying allergenic foods of public health importance. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 51(1), 42-52) have been further refined to incorporate an assessment of the strength of available scientific evidence (van Bilsen, J.H., Ronsmans, S., Crevel, R.W., Rona, R.J., Przyrembel, H., Penninks, A.H., Contor, L., Houben, G.F., 2011. Evaluation of scientific criteria for identifying allergenic food of public health importance. Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology 60, 281-289). A multi-disciplinary group was invited to critically test the refined approach. They independently evaluated selected publications on coconut, soy and/or peanut allergy, scored them using the newly developed level of evidence criteria, and debated proposed approaches for combining and utilising the scores to measure the overall impact of an allergen in public health impact assessments. The evaluation of selected publications using the modified criteria produced a relatively consistent result across the experts. These refined criteria were judged to be a way forward for the identification of allergenic foods of public health importance, and for prioritisation of allergen risk management and future data gathering. The debate to combine available evidence when assessing whether an allergenic food is of sufficient public health importance to warrant active management led to proposals on how to weight and combine evidence on allergen severity, potency and prevalence. The refined criteria facilitate a debate to find a meaningful sequence of steps to summarise the available information in relation to a food allergen. © 2012.


Koster S.,TNO | Koster S.,Nestlé | Leeman W.,TNO | Verheij E.,TNO | And 6 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2015

A main challenge in food safety research is to demonstrate that processing of foodstuffs does not lead to the formation of substances for which the safety upon consumption might be questioned. This is especially so since food is a complex matrix in which the analytical detection of substances, and consequent risk assessment thereof, is difficult to determine. Here, a pragmatic novel safety assessment strategy is applied to the production of non-selective extracts (NSEs), used for different purposes in food such as for colouring purposes, which are complex food mixtures prepared from reference juices. The Complex Mixture Safety Assessment Strategy (CoMSAS) is an exposure driven approach enabling to efficiently assess the safety of the NSE by focussing on newly formed substances or substances that may increase in exposure during the processing of the NSE. CoMSAS enables to distinguish toxicologically relevant from toxicologically less relevant substances, when related to their respective levels of exposure. This will reduce the amount of work needed for identification, characterisation and safety assessment of unknown substances detected at low concentration, without the need for toxicity testing using animal studies. In this paper, the CoMSAS approach has been applied for elderberry and pumpkin NSEs used for food colouring purposes. © 2015 Elsevier Ltd.


Koster S.,TNO | Boobis A.R.,Imperial College London | Cubberley R.,Colworth Science Park | Hollnagel H.M.,Dow Chemical Company | And 4 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2011

Unknown substances, not previously observed, are frequently detected in foods by quality control laboratories. In many cases, the assessment of these 'new' substances requires additional chemical analysis for their identification prior to assessing risk. This identification procedure can be time-consuming, expensive and in some instances difficult. Furthermore, in many cases, no toxicological information will be available for the substance. Therefore, there is a need to develop pragmatic tools for the assessment of the potential toxicity of substances with unknown identity to avoid delays in their risk assessment. Hence, the 'ILSI Europe expert group on the application of the threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) to unexpected peaks found in food' was established to explore whether the TTC concept may enable a more pragmatic risk assessment of unknown substances that were not previously detected in food. A step-wise approach is introduced that uses expert judgement on the source of the food, information on the analytical techniques, the dietary consumption of food sources containing the unknown substance and quantitative information of the unknown substance to assess the safety to the consumer using the TTC. By following this step-wise approach, it may be possible to apply a TTC threshold of 90. μg/day for an unknown substance in food. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | Coca Cola Services, TNO, Chr. Hansen and The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority NVWA
Type: | Journal: Food and chemical toxicology : an international journal published for the British Industrial Biological Research Association | Year: 2015

A main challenge in food safety research is to demonstrate that processing of foodstuffs does not lead to the formation of substances for which the safety upon consumption might be questioned. This is especially so since food is a complex matrix in which the analytical detection of substances, and consequent risk assessment thereof, is difficult to determine. Here, a pragmatic novel safety assessment strategy is applied to the production of non-selective extracts (NSEs), used for different purposes in food such as for colouring purposes, which are complex food mixtures prepared from reference juices. The Complex Mixture Safety Assessment Strategy (CoMSAS) is an exposure driven approach enabling to efficiently assess the safety of the NSE by focussing on newly formed substances or substances that may increase in exposure during the processing of the NSE. CoMSAS enables to distinguish toxicologically relevant from toxicologically less relevant substances, when related to their respective levels of exposure. This will reduce the amount of work needed for identification, characterisation and safety assessment of unknown substances detected at low concentration, without the need for toxicity testing using animal studies. In this paper, the CoMSAS approach has been applied for elderberry and pumpkin NSEs used for food colouring purposes.


Nguyen H.H.,Coca Cola Services | Shpigelman A.,Catholic University of Leuven | Shpigelman A.,Technion - Israel Institute of Technology | van Buggenhout S.,Catholic University of Leuven | And 5 more authors.
European Food Research and Technology | Year: 2015

Mango is a commercially important and popular tropical fruit. While there is a growing commercial interest to incorporate fruit pieces in juices and soft drinks, such implementation for mango pieces is impaired by the sensitivity of the pieces texture during beverage processing (i.e., thermal treatment) and shelf life. In this work, we have evaluated the evolution of texture, color and composition of mango pieces from two non-fully ripe ripening stages in a mango juice drink after pasteurization (77 °C for 15 min) and shelf life (8 weeks at 21 °C). Our results indicated that the firmness of the pieces from the earlier ripening stage was significantly improved by pasteurization and preserved during storage. On the other hand, no improvement in texture was observed for the riper pieces most likely due to a more degraded cell wall structure at the later ripening stage preventing the beneficial firmness increase occurring due to starch gelatinization. Those results, combined with the observed migration of sugars and acids between the pieces and the juice, suggest that the utilization of non-fully ripe mango pieces could present a promising opportunity for the addition of mango bits to fruit beverages. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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