Wednesday, 24 April 2024

Webinars on demand

Food Contact Materials: Analytical and Regulatory Issues

Choosing and purchasing the right packaging is not an easy task for Food Business Operators. The product should satisfy the need to preserve food or beverages while also attracting the attention of consumers. Additionally, there is an increasing marketing push for a "green" choice, considering the growing environmental concerns. Many packaging producers offer items made from recycled plastics or paper. While this is a way to be sustainable, in such cases, "non-intentionally added substances" (NIAS) that can contaminate the product are more frequently present.   This webinar aims to provide information about the evolution of the regulatory and risk management scenario, featuring high-level scienti [...]

PFAS control in food and feed

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are extremely stable chemical substances. This characteristic made them very useful for some industrial applications, but it makes them one of the most Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). They accumulate in agricultural soil and water and then in living organisms, both plants and animals. Exposure to PFAS leads to several health problems in animals and humans. Even if the use of the most toxic PFAS was already stopped, the high level of environmental pollution and the stability of such molecules create the conditions for their presence in the food chain. The concentration of PFAS in food is relatively low (fractions of ppb, mostly) but they are highly toxic [...]

Mycotoxins risk, an update

Why this event As we learned in our past webinars about mycotoxins, we need to monitor the risk of contamination to save resources and prevent wrong decisions about raw materials.   The origin of the commodities, the weather conditions, the level of preventive measures implemented by farmers, as well as the frequency of incidents and recalls must be considered. Inspection and certification companies can prevent the import of non-compliant raw materials, but sometimes the goods maintain a level of risk, particularly now with new lower EU Maximum Limits in place or incoming.   Analytical methods, both rapid onsite and laboratory ones, are sensitive and precise, and interlaboratory variation is [...]

Precautionary Allergen Labelling (PAL): what lies ahead

PAL should only be used when, following a rigorous risk assessment, an actual risk of allergen cross-contact within the supply chain is identified and cannot be removed through meticulous risk management actions. The adoption of quantitative limits (based on internationally agreed reference doses) as a standard method, would help the food industry make informative choices in term of labelling, restoring credibility to PAL and, therefore, strengthening the protection of allergic consumers.   The food industry, via FoodDrinkEurope, has already asked for official thresholds and for a standard to follow for the correct use of PAL. Now the responsibility for what lies ahead is on the legislator. &nbs [...]

Acrylamide & other process contaminants in food

Why this event Acrylamide was detected in food for the first time in 2002, and since then research was undertaken to identify measures to reduce its presence in our meals. Acrylamide can be found in certain foods, following formation from naturally present substances during processing at temperature above 120°C. According to EFSA, it is a carcinogenic substance and current levels of dietary exposure indicate a concern. Acrylamide levels in food are monitored since 2007, and they have been subject to a benchmarking system since 2018. Non-governmental organizations have recently called for mandatory EU limits of acrylamide and the EU Commission is working to answer the call. Currently, 15% of values [...]

Plant-based foods: hidden risks

Why this event   Plant-based foods (PBFs) and beverages are more and more present on the table of Americans and Europeans. Meat and dairy products made using protein from plants, engineered micro-organisms, or fungi are certainly eco-friendly and good for vegetarians, but several studies and reports discovered that new safety risks can be associated with the consumption of those products. While there are many events where you can listen to a debate about the nutritional characteristics of PBFs or about the technologies used for the production, you can find very little about the food safety and food fraud issues.   The format   As in any Affidia Talks, we have first of all a clear separa [...]

Analytical methods for food allergens: open issues

Why this event   Undeclared food allergens are among the most frequent cause of food recalls and alerts. Food industries invest quite a lot of resources to assess and manage the risk of allergens, still, incidents happen. In 2021 Affidia hosted a panel to discuss with several experts the whole topic (the video of the event is available at https://affidiajournal.com/en/food-allergen-risk-management-breaching-the-gap). This time we are going to focus on the analytical issues, considering that it is unlikely that the regulatory scenario will change soon. Several international institutions or think tanks published even recently new guidelines about the management of food allergen risk (WHO, ILSI), bu [...]

Rapid methods for onsite detection of mycotoxins

Why this event Since many years ago, the risk of contamination of food and  feed by mycotoxins has been reduced by careful control of raw  materials. Rapid methods played a key role in this. There are  many products on the market. Products are not only fast, but  also accurate enough, so… is everything fine?  Actually, it is unclear, considering this topic is often neglected in scientific  conferences. The few presentations about test kits are by the producers, almost  never by independent experts. This is why Affidia decided to do the opposite: we will give the floor to those that everyday control grains and milk to avoid consumers and animals could be expose [...]

Mycotoxins EU regulations: are the limits too strict, too weak, or just fine?

The contamination of food and feed with mycotoxins is a global threat to food safety and has great public health and economic significance. The EU has regulated most mycotoxins in some way since 2006 and all Food Business Operators (FBOs) must guarantee their products are compliant with the regulatory limits. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is continuously updating its risk assessment to advise the EU Commission about the need for new limits and/or changes to the existing limits.   Because the occurrence of mycotoxin contamination is very high, the job of FBOs is not easy and the costs associated with mycotoxins risk management are extensive. Mycotoxin contamination risk is very weather [...]

Mycotoxins in the Food Chain

The contamination of food and feed with mycotoxins is a global threat to food safety and has great public health and economic significance.     Affidia - The Journal of Food Diagnostics is offering a two-day event: a workshop with totally independent content!       ✗ webinar ✓ online workshop – great content that goes the extra mile  Totally independent – ZERO sponsor presentations, 100% independent contents  Know what to expect – presentations and materials will be available before the event  Be active – send your questions in advance  Recorded video – if you miss the live event visit affidiajournal.com and watch it o [...]

Food Allergen Risk Management: Breaching the Gap

Topics: 1) Severe allergic reactions and anaphylaxis – data for frequency and source or place of reaction (packaged food, catering, take-away food, home cooking, private parties) 2)  Analytical power and reliability in food allergen risk management decision-making  3)  Challenges in the food businesses (food manufacturing, restaurants, catering) and the efficacy of food allergen risk management: best practices and biggest threats according to auditors  Panel discussion and conclusions: Where are the gaps? Where should future efforts focus? Are better regulations (thresholds) the answer? Can food businesses improve risk management? Are more sensitive/reliable methods of analys [...]

Frozen Food and the Threat of SARS-CoV-2

WHO, FAO, FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius, the US CDC, the EU CDC, and other international organizations have made it clear that SARS-Cov-2 is not a foodborne disease. “There is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food or food packaging…. It is highly unlikely that people can contract COVID-19 from food or food packaging” (www.fao.org).   However, there is evidence that SARS-CoV-2 was transferred on food packaging across international borders. Chinese authorities in 2020 inspected and sampled millions of cold-chain foods and in a few cases blocked the import of meat or fish because testing revealed the presence of the virus’ ge [...]


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