From Total Diet Study (TDS) to Population Exposure Results using Creme Food®

The WHO recognizes Total Diet Studies as cost-effective methods of providing general assurance that the food supply is safe from certain chemical hazards and to develop priorities for risk management and interventions.

Even more important than the impact on trade, chemicals in the food chain can cause serious health risks such as cancer, immune suppression, kidney and liver dysfunctions, hormonal imbalance, learning disabilities, dementia etc (WHO 2005). One benefit of a TDS is that it targets the sampling of foods that represent the typical diet of a population. (EFSA, FAO and WHO 2005).

Total diet studies seek to measure toxic chemicals and certain nutrients in foods and drinks (including drinking water and the contribution of water used in cooking) in order to assess the chemical exposure for different demographic groups. These data are essential in order to assess whether or not the selected chemicals and nutrients pose a risk to health.

In the best case scenario, the TDS will include food consumption data at individual consumer level such as a 24 hour food record. Alternatively household budget data or food supply data such as FAOSTAT, EUROSTAT or GEMS/Food cluster diet can be used (EFSA, FAO and WHO 2005). Total Diet Studies also produce data on chemical and nutrition concentrations in foods. Creme Food® is ideal for combining and analysing TDS data to produce accurate and validated population exposure results.

The Irish TDS was carried out by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland using the Republic of Ireland data from the North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey. Creme Food® was utilised for this analysis (FSAI 2011). A semi-probabilistic approach was used which considered single or mean occurrence data from heavy metals, some nutrients (iodine, selenium and fluoride), food additives (sulphites, etc), acrylamide, mycotoxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons as well as pesticides combined with food intake distributions.

This study showed that the chemicals for which the Irish population were most at risk of exceeding the TDI/TWI (Tolerable Daily/Weekly Intake) or ADI (Acceptable Daily Intake) were aluminium, cadmium and sulphite (FSAI 2011).

Contaminant exposure does not only originate from food, but also from other factors, such as the environment or cosmetics. Not only can Creme help to carry out a TDS using Creme Food® but Creme also have software and services in a wide range of environmental and cosmetic exposure. Please contact for information on our various exposure services.

Written by Sandrine Pigat on June 14 2012

Signup for our newsletter