Guide to correctly apply nanotechnology in the food chain
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) launched last May a pilot guide for the Evaluation of Nanotechnology Risk in human and animal health, and its correct use in the food chain.
“This guide is very timely because it gives applicants the tools they need to correctly apply nanotechnology and provide risk assessors – like EFSA members – with the right tools to assess their safety,” said Reinhilde Schoonjans, risk assessment scientist and member of the EFSA.
As the scientist stated, this guide, whose final launch is expected at the end of 2019, will support both the risk assessors, their managers, and even the applicants themselves.
First, this tool defines, according to the criteria of the European Commission, whether or not a material is a nanomaterial.
Second, it includes all the advances in food nanotechnology produced after 2011, the date of publication of the latest guide.
Also included are new scientific studies on the physicochemical properties of nanomaterials, the assessment of their exposure and their hazard characterization, as well as explaining how to carry out an analysis of the uncertainty of these latter parameters.
Likewise, future developments related to nanoencapsulation and nanomaterials and their application in new foods, food/feed additives, biocides, pesticides and food contact materials are also reflected.
And finally, the guide also describes a staggered framework for toxicological tests, taking into account in vitro degradation, toxicokinetics, genotoxicity and the different issues related to toxicological tests.
Apart from this guide, in 2019 another one will be developed that will focus on the environmental risk assessment of nanoscience and nanotechnology applications in the food and feed chain.