The Cordis site , the European portal for research and development activities of the EU Commission presents the European project Facet (Flavors, additives and food contact material exposure task): composed of 20 partners, it aims to assess the level of human exposure to chemicals added to food. Scientists considered flavoring substances, flavor enhancers, additives and packaging materials in contact with the foods themselves.
According to the Facet research project, there are obstacles in the assessment of exposure. Such as access to national food consumption databases, the difficulty with food categorization, limited knowledge on the presence of chemicals in food and the lack of data on the concentration of these chemicals and on packaging substances.
The consortium, made up of representatives from academia, industry and national government agencies, is working on a database with the concentrations of certain chemicals and their absorption, and is also creating publicly available software with data already integrated to help. modeling of exposure risk.
A targeted survey on the presence of food additives, flavoring substances and materials in contact with food, available in France, Ireland, Italy, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Finland and the United Kingdom, is nearing the end of the planning phase (minimum 3000 products). Researchers are creating a database to record the information contained on the labels. Group analysis of consumption patterns in EU countries was also completed to identify countries with similar food consumption profiles.
At the end of the four-year project, the Facet team expects its scientific approach to help boost consumer protection efforts in Europe by fostering innovation in the food chain. Thanks to a focused risk management approach, the results will also provide information to international food regulatory agencies.