A study of commonly consumed foods in Ireland has revealed that the Irish population is generally not as risk from chemical contaminants, but that in line with international findings, there is some concern in relation to chemicals created by frying, roasting and baking.
The Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) published the results of its Total Diet Study today (15 March), which was carried out to assess the dietary exposure of Irish people to certain chemicals that could pose a risk to health in consumed in excessive amounts.
The study assessed 147 different foods and beverages that are representative of the average Irish diet. The substances studied ranged from metals, like aluminium, arsenic, lead, mercury and tin, to nutrients such as iodine and selenium, and food additives like acrylamide, and mycotoxins.
It also looked at levels of pesticide residues in food, along with levels of bisphenol A and phthalates, which are present in some food contact materials.
Overall, the results were positive, showing that in general, Irish people are not as risk from chemical contaminants in food.
However, the FSAI did identify a potential cause for concern in relation to exposure to acrylamide, a chemical formed from frying, roasting and baking certain foods, and from aflatoxins, which are naturally occurring chemicals created by some fungi, and to a lesser extent, lead.
The report points out that these findings are in no way specific to Ireland, but are of concern worldwide. Also, while zero exposure is impossible, continuous efforts are being made both nationally and internationally to reduce exposure to these substances to as a low a level as possible.
Some of the measures being explored to reduce exposure include legislation review, and applying best practices in agricultures and food manufacturing.
Commenting on the results, Dr Pamela Byrne, Chief Executive, FSAI said that continued surveillance is essential to ensure the safety of food.
"While the results of the study do not give rise to any immediate concerns, we have identified a number of potential areas for further monitoring and action.
"These risks are of a global nature and are being addressed through legislation and other targeted measures by the European Commission, working in conjunction with European food safety agencies, including the FSAI," she said.
© 2016 - Checkout Magazine by Jenny Whelan.