Organic contaminants and additives

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Evaluate the potential risks of known and emerging organic contaminants

We evaluate the potential risks related to known and emerging organic contaminants that may be a threat to the population via food intake, exposure to the environment or to consumer products like materials in contact with food. These contaminants may be naturally present (e.g. fungal toxins) or added to consumer products either intentionally (e.g. to improve the quality, to influence physicochemical properties) or unintentionally during the production process. The potential health risks are evaluated by characterising the hazard associated with specific substances and with the exposure of various consumer groups according to the principles of risk assessment strategies.

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We assess the exposure of the population to chemical components through the food chain (directly via food and indirectly via feed), through migration of substances from food packaging materials and other types of consumer products, and through environmental exposure.

Our research and analytical activities focus on the detection, identification, quantification and risk evaluation of chemical contaminants (e.g. pesticides), additives (e.g. sweeteners), natural substances (e.g. microbial-, marine-, plant- and mycotoxines, steviol glycosides) and organic components migrating from materials in contact with food and from other consumer products. Dietary exposure surveys of the Belgian population are an essential part of these risk assessments (e.g. in relation to the intake of sweeteners, mineral oils, pyrrolozidine alkaloids).

Enjoying an excellent reputation in Belgium and abroad, we are the national reference centre for the analysis of pesticides, persistent organic pollutants, mycotoxins and materials in contact with food. We provide chemical analyses on request, for which we dispose of advanced equipment, and offer scientific advice within our area of expertise. Accredited by BELAC to Quality Standard ISO/IEC 17025, we ensure the accuracy and reliability of our results for our clients.

We collaborate with the Belgian authorities (FPS Public Health, FASFC) and with the Luxembourg and European authorities (EFSA, European Commission, Council of Europe).

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We have long experience in the detection of various chemical substances.

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Participates in the following projects

NRC/NRL reference

Associated health topics

Food consumption and food safety

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