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What's in your food? The BfR MEAL Study newsletter provides up-to-date and concise information

38/2019, 17.10.2019

What foods are currently being examined for desirable and undesirable substances by the BfR MEAL Study? How many individual results are already available? At which event will current progress be discussed? The twice yearly BfR MEAL News of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is packed with information about Germany's first Total Diet Study. For the first time in Germany, the BfR MEAL Study (Mahlzeiten für die Expositionsschätzung und Analytik von Lebensmitteln - meals for exposure assessment and analysis of foods) is conducting a large-scale investigation into which substances, and how much of them, are contained in prepared foods. “The BfR has a lot planned: around 60,000 food items will be analysed for just under 300 substances over seven years. The newsletter BfR MEAL News will ensure interested parties are always kept up-to-date,” says BfR President Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel.

The latest newsletter of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is called BfR MEAL News. Twice a year it provides concise information on current topics, progress and results of the BfR MEAL Study, Germany's first Total Diet Study.

In addition, the newsletter offers service announcements for subscribers: Announcements about upcoming events and publications of the results, as well as background information on the study.

Among other things, the first issue reports on the visit of the Federal Minister of Food and Agriculture Julia Klöckner to the study kitchen, provides a summary of the recently completed first field phase and offers an outlook of the first WHO Total Diet Study Workshop in Germany.

Subscribing to the BfR MEAL News is easy and secure: Interested people can sign up for the newsletter at and then confirm registration via the confirmation email.

The BfR MEAL Study is the first Total Diet Study (TDS) for Germany and the most comprehensive TDS worldwide. A Total Diet Study is an internationally recognised method that determines what concentrations of substances are present on average in ready-to-eat foods. The study takes into account more than 90 percent of the entire range of foods in Germany and analyses each food prepared as it is typically consumed in Germany.

In the first field phase, which has just been completed, the scientists examined the foods for heavy metals, nutrients and mycotoxins, among other things. Around 135,000 individual results are available from the first field phase and serve as the basis for improved identification of possible health risks caused by food. The Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture is funding the seven-year study with around €13 million.

Click here to sign up for the BfR MEAL News:

More information on the BfR MEAL Study is available at:

About the BfR

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) is a scientifically independent institution within the portfolio of the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) in Germany. It advises the Federal Government and Federal Laender on questions of food, chemical and product safety. The BfR conducts its own research on topics that are closely linked to its assessment tasks.


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