Total Diet Study (TDS) Exposure

In the TDS exposure project, the method Total Diet Study (TDS) is developed further as a realistic and cost-effective exposure estimation method for consumers in relation to potentially harmful substances in foods.

Data collection through Total Diet Studies

A Total Diet Study determines average concentrations of several substances in food. In doing so, the entire spectrum of foods is taken into account. As part of this method, the foods investigated are not analysed in unprocessed form but rather in the form in which they are typically prepared and eaten. This means that the method is suitable for inferring the background concentration of individual substances of a large number of foods and the background exposure of consumers resulting from the ingestion of foods. Total Diet Studies thus permit a significant improvement in the available data on a large number of substances and a reduction in the uncertainties in the assessment of risks for the population. In principle, all substances of a Total Diet Study for which a sufficiently sensitive and reliable analytical method exists can be investigated. The advantage over other methods is notably the generation of content data of substances such as process contaminants and additives which must be analysed in ready-to-eat foods.

Method development in the TDS exposure project

In the European TDS exposure project, the Total Diet Study methods are developed and standardised. In some countries, pilot studies are conducted. Germany is among the countries that conduct a pilot study for individual elements (e.g. copper, manganese, mercury). Within the TDS exposure project, the BfR is in charge of the German pilot study and coordinates activities in the work package “Variability and Trend Analyses”. The project aims to create a solid starting basis for a harmonised application of the Total Diet methodology and a standardised data basis for risks assessments in Europe.

Project participants

In addition to the BfR, 26 European institutions participate in the project. The BfR’s partner institution in France, ANSES, is responsible for the overall coordination of the project. The research project is sponsored by the European Commission with approximately Euro 6 million and runs for 4 years (February 2012 to January 2016).

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FAQ

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20.10.2016
BfR FAQ
Frequently asked questions on the BfR MEAL Study 51.3 KB
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Infographic

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Date Title Size
11.10.2016
Infographic
BfR MEAL Study 234.2 KB
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Communication

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08.11.2018
BfR Communication No. 035/2018
Cooking for science - BfR MEAL study celebrating its 2nd birthday 32.1 KB
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01.06.2018
BfR Communication No. 017/2018
BfR MEAL Study: BfR intensifying cooperation with Republic of Korea 32.1 KB
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06.09.2016
BfR Communication No. 028/2016
BfR MEAL Study - Information and Cooperation 94.9 KB
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Unit Exposure Assessment and Exposure Standardisationedit

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