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Hoekstra J.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Hart A.,UK Environment Agency | Boobis A.,Imperial College London | Claupein E.,Max Rubner Institute MRI | And 10 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2012

BRAFO stands for Benefit-Risk Analysis for Foods. This European Commission funded project aims at developing a framework that allows quantitative comparison of human health risks and benefits of foods and food compounds based on a common scale of measurement.A methodology group brought together methodologies from several disciplines relevant to the evaluation of risks and benefits in food. This group reviewed and assembled the methodologies available. They produced this guidance document that describes a tiered ('stepwise') approach for performing a risk and benefit assessment of foods. This process starts with pre-assessment and problem formulation to set the scope of the assessment. This includes defining two scenarios, the reference and an alternative that are compared in the assessment. The approach consists of four tiers. In many cases, a lower tier assessment in which risks and benefits are qualitatively evaluated may be sufficient to show a clear difference between the health impacts of the two scenarios. In other cases, increasingly sophisticated methods to integrate risks and benefits quantitatively are used at higher tiers to assess the net health impact. © 2010 ILSI Europe. Source

Watzl B.,Max Rubner Institute MRI | Gelencser E.,Central Food Research Institute CFRI | Hoekstra J.,National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM | Kulling S.,Max Rubner Institute MRI | And 5 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2012

There is evidence that consumption of fish, especially oily fish, has substantial beneficial effects on health. In particular an inverse relationship of oily fish intake to coronary heart disease incidence has been established. These beneficial effects are ascribed to fish oil components including long chain ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. On the other hand it should be noted that oily fish also contains hazardous substances such as dioxins, PCBs and methylmercury.Soy consumption has been associated with potential beneficial and adverse effects. The claimed benefits include reduced risk of cardiovascular disease; osteoporosis, breast and prostate cancer whereas potential adverse effects include impaired thyroid function, disruption of sex hormone levels, changes in reproductive function and increased breast cancer risk. The two cases of natural foods highlight the need to consider both risks and benefits in order to establish the net health impact associated to the consumption of specific food products. Within the Sixth Framework programme of the European Commission, the BRAFO project was funded to develop a framework that allows for the quantitative comparison of human health risks and benefits in relation to foods and food compounds. This paper describes the application of the developed framework to two natural foods, farmed salmon and soy protein. We conclude that the BRAFO methodology is highly applicable to natural foods. It will help the benefit-risk managers in selecting the appropriate dietary recommendations for the population. © 2011 ILSI Europe. Source

Schutte K.,Procter and Gamble | Boeing H.,German Institute of Human Nutrition | Hart A.,UK Environment Agency | Heeschen W.,Federal Dairy Research Center | And 4 more authors.
Food and Chemical Toxicology | Year: 2012

The aim of the European Funded Project BRAFO (benefit-risk analysis of foods) project was to develop a framework that allows quantitative comparison of human health risks and benefits of foods based on a common scale of measurement. This publication describes the application of the BRAFO methodology to three different case studies: the formation of acrylamide in potato and cereal based products, the formation of benzo(a)pyrene through smoking and grilling of meat and fish and the heat-treatment of milk. Reference, alternative scenario and target population represented the basic structure to test the tiers of the framework.Various intervention methods intended to reduce acrylamide in potato and cereal products were evaluated against the historical production methods. In conclusion the benefits of the acrylamide-reducing measures were considered prevailing.For benzo(a)pyrene, three illustrated alternative scenarios were evaluated against the most common smoking practice. The alternative scenarios were assessed as delivering benefits, introducing only minimal potential risks.Similar considerations were made for heat treatment of milk where the comparison of the microbiological effects of heat treatment, physico-chemical changes of milk constituents with positive and negative health effects was assessed. In general, based on data available, benefits of the heat treatment were outweighing any risks. © 2012 ILSI Europe. Source

Gallagher A.M.,University of Ulster | Meijer G.W.,Unilever | Richardson D.P.,DPR Nutrition Ltd. | Rondeau V.,University of Bordeaux Segalen | And 5 more authors.
British Journal of Nutrition | Year: 2011

Diet is well known to have beneficial health properties that extend beyond traditionally accepted nutritional effects. The approach involved in elucidating these beneficial physiological effects is becoming more important, as reflected by increasing research being undertaken. With growing consumer awareness of foods and food constituents and their relationship to health, the key questions for regulators, scientists and the food industry continue to relate to: (1) how consumers could be protected and have confidence that the health claims on foods are well supported by the evidence; (2) how research on physiological effects of food (constituents) and their health benefits could be stimulated and supported; (3) how research findings could be used in the development of innovative new food products. The objectives of this paper are to provide a set of recommendations on the substantiation of health claims for foods, to develop further guidance on the choice of validated markers (or marker patterns) and what effects are considered to be beneficial to the health of the general public (or specific target groups). Finally, the case for developing a standardised approach for assessing the totality of the available scientific data and weighing the evidence is proposed. © 2011 ILSI Europe. Source

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. Source

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