Danish survey evaluates the content of chemical contaminants in food

July 17, 2013

The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark has evaluated the content of chemical contaminants in food in the period 2004-2011 at the request of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration.

The content of chemical contaminants is evaluated in relation to which specific foods Danes eat, and how much. The latest monitoring report includes even more compounds than the one from 2003.

"Monitoring of unwanted compounds is performed to ensure that the food eaten by the Danish people does not contain too many harmful compounds. In general, Danes should not be concerned about unwanted chemical compounds in food products. However, it would be advantageous if the intake of certain compounds was reduced", says Annette Petersen, senior adviser at the National Food Institute.

The report shows that it would be an advantage to focus efforts on reducing Danes' intake of inorganic arsenic, acrylamide, the metals lead and cadmium as well as the environmental toxicants PCB and dioxin. The intake of lead and cadmium remains more or less unchanged since the last monitoring survey in 2003. In contrast, the intake of dioxin and PCB shows a falling tendency, however, focused efforts are still necessary.

Acrylamide in food may cause cancer

In recent years, the National Food Institute has indicated that Danes' intake of acrylamide constitutes a health risk as it increases the risk of developing cancer. Acrylamide is formed when you fry, bake, grill or broil carbohydrate-rich foods at temperatures above 120 degrees.

The report shows that on average a Danish adult takes in 16 micrograms acrylamide per day. This is a decline compared to the latest calculations from 2007, where the intake was 24 micrograms on average. The decline is mainly due to the fact that the contribution from fried potatoes has been reduced. In calculating the intake it was presumed that Danes meet the recommendation of preparing the potatoes at a maximum of 175 degrees until they are gold brown.

The National Food Institute has calculated that even an average intake of 16 micrograms constitutes a health risk and thus considers this amount too high. Adults get most of their acrylamide from potato products (36 %), while 30 % comes from coffee and 13 % from bread. Children get 43 % from potatoes, 20 % from chips and chocolate and 16 % from bread.

Based on new results concerning the risk associated with acrylamide, the National Food Institute in cooperation with several European sister institutes in 2012 asked the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to undertake a new assessment of acrylamide. The institute continuously works on accelerating international work in this regard.

Inorganic arsenic in rice products

The intake of inorganic arsenic is also mentioned in the media. Particular focus has been put on babies' and young children's exposure to inorganic arsenic from rice crackers and rice porridge. In Denmark, rice is a significant source of inorganic arsenic for all age groups. After a long period of intake, inorganic arsenic may increase the risk of developing cancer. The National Food Institute has assessed that the dietary intake of inorganic arsenic is so high that seen from a health point of view it should be reduced.

"For all compounds mentioned it holds true that if you eat a varied diet you reduce health risks. You may vary your intake of meat and fish as well as your side order of potatoes, vegetables, rice and bread", says Christine Nellemann, head of division.
-end-
Read the report: Chemical contaminants 2004-2011 (http://www.food.dtu.dk/~/media/Institutter/Foedevareinstituttet/Publikationer/Pub-2013/Rapport_om_Chemical_Contaminants.ashx)

Monitoring of chemical contaminants in food includes more compounds than earlier. New compounds are inorganic arsenic, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), acrylamide, brominated flame retardants, perfluoroalkylated substances, furan, 3-MPCD, deoxynivalenole (DON), HT-2 and T-2.

The analyses were done at the regional laboratories of the Danish Veterinary and Food Administration in Ringsted and Aarhus, except a few calculations concerning acrylamide, which were done at the National Food Institute. All evaluations were done by the National Food Institute.

Technical University of Denmark

Related Chocolate Articles from Brightsurf:

High social and ecological standards for chocolate
Worldwide demand for food from the tropics that meets higher environmental and social standards has risen sharply in recent years.

Chocolate is good for the heart
Eating chocolate at least once a week is linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC).1 ''Our study suggests that chocolate helps keep the heart's blood vessels healthy,'' said study author Dr.

Chocolate 'fingerprints' could confirm label claims
The flavor and aroma of a fine chocolate emerge from its ecology, in addition to its processing.

SUTD's breakthrough research allows for 3D printed chocolate without temperature control
SUTD's new approach to the 3D printing of chocolate using cold extrusion instead of conventional hot-melt extrusion method eliminates the need for stringent temperature controls, offering wider potential for 3D printing temperature-sensitive food.

The flavor of chocolate is developed during the processing of the cocoa beans
Can you manipulate the taste of noble cocoas in different directions to create exciting new flavours for the world's chocolate fans?

Chocolate muddles cannabis potency testing
Since the first states legalized recreational marijuana in 2012, several others have joined them, and cannabis-infused edibles, including gummy bears, cookies and chocolates, have flooded the market.

Do we judge chocolate by its wrapper?
Packaging is the first impression consumers have of food products that influences the likelihood of purchasing.

The smell of dark chocolate, demystified
Chocolate is one of the most-consumed treats around the world, and the smell alone is usually enough to evoke strong cravings from even the most disciplined eaters.

Great chocolate is a complex mix of science, physicists reveal
The science of what makes good chocolate has been revealed by researchers studying a 140-year-old mixing technique.

How the 'good feeling' can influence the purchase of sustainable chocolate
More and more products carry ethical labels such as fair-trade or organic, which consumers view positively.

Read More: Chocolate News and Chocolate Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.