Jul. 9, 2018
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has produced Guidance
on human and animal health aspects (Part 1) of the risk assessment of nanoscience and nanotechnology applications in the food and feed chain. It covers the application areas within EFSA's remit, e.g. novel foods, food contact materials, food/feed additives and pesticides.
The Guidance takes account of the new developments that have taken place since publication of the previous Guidance in 2011. Potential future developments are suggested in the scientific literature for nanoencapsulated delivery systems and nanocomposites in applications such as novel foods, food/feed additives, biocides, pesticides and food contact materials. Therefore, the Guidance has taken account of relevant new scientific studies that provide more insights to physicochemical properties, exposure assessment and hazard characterisation of nanomaterials.
It specifically elaborates on physicochemical characterisation of nanomaterials in terms of how to establish whether a material is a nanomaterial, the key parameters that should be measured, the methods and techniques that can be used for characterisation of nanomaterials and their determination in complex matrices.
It also details the aspects relating to exposure assessment and hazard identification and characterisation. In particular, nanospecific considerations relating to in vivo/in vitro toxicological studies are discussed and a tiered framework for toxicological testing is outlined.
It describes in vitro degradation, toxicokinetics, genotoxicity as well as general issues relating to testing of nanomaterials. Depending on the initial tier results, studies may be needed to investigate reproductive and developmental toxicity, immunotoxicity, allergenicity, neurotoxicity, effects on gut microbiome and endocrine activity.
The possible use of read‐across to fill data gaps as well as the potential use of integrated testing strategies and the knowledge of modes/mechanisms of action are also discussed. The Guidance proposes approaches to risk characterisation and uncertainty analysis, and provides recommendations for further research in this area.