Unit Product Analytics

The ‘Product Analytics‘ unit engages in the development of analytical methods for the chemical characterization of consumer products and commodities. The main goal is to evaluate the human exposure towards substances from such products in order to facilitate an exposure-based risk assessment.

Analytical methods for the analysis of products

On the one hand, the analytical methods aim at determining the contents of chemical compounds in consumer products. On the other hand, they should also enable an estimation of the transition of chemical compounds from products and food into the human body. This is accomplished by investigating substance migration that occurs during skin or food contact, as well as emission of volatiles that may contribute to the exposure without direct contact.

The ‘Product Analytics‘ unit possesses state-of-the-art analytical equipment that facilitates the development of specific and sensitive analytical procedures enabling the detection and quantification of a multitude of analytes. Exemplary procedures to estimate the contribution of different exposure pathways involve

  • emission chamber measurements (inhalation exposure)
  • investigations employing Franz-diffusion cells (dermal exposure)
  • release experiments with food contact materials into food and food simulants (oral exposure)

In addition, methods to determine the chemical integrity of products at the interface and of post-exposure metabolic changes within cells are developed. To this end, a wide range of separation and detection techniques are utilized:

  • liquid and gas chromatography (including headspace mode, sequential online-pyrolysis-GC and online-LC-GC, comprehensive GC×GC)
  • as mass spectrometry (including sequential MSn, high resolution MS, element-specific ICP-MS (also in single particle mode) and imaging MS (e.g. ToF-SIMS))
  • absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy

The analytical procedures are permanently improved and validated to adopt the available methodological pool to the challenges of an ever increasing variety of materials being processed in consumer products, and to answer complex interdisciplinary scientific questions.

National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for Food Contact Materials (FCMs)

The ‘Product Analytics‘ unit hosts the National Reference Laboratory (NRL) for Food Contact Materials (FCMs).

Joint research projects and boards

The ‘Product Analytics‘ unit participates in several national and European joint research projects such as InnoMat.Life, ACE Nano, NanoAERS, Gov4Nano and NANOHEPATOX.

Co-workers within the division represent the BfR in national and international boards such as

  • the §64 task forces of the Federal Office of Consumer Protection and Food Safety (BVL)
  • the EURL-NRL-network
  • the AIR and NIK committees for indoor air quality guidelines
  • the working groups of ECHA  
  • the respective boards of CEN and DIN


Other documents

Date Title Size
Print Version
Organisation Chart of the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment 135.1 KB


Publikationen - BfR-Wissenschaft

Date Title Size
BfR-Wissenschaft 01/2021
Method evaluation study on the determination of volatile compounds in silicone materials 1021.2 KB


Head of Unit

Dr. Alexander Roloff

Specialist Publications - Open Agrar publications database

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