Published in Food Safety
Dr. Antonio Conto, ERT (Euroepan Registered Toxicologist)

The tool FAIM (Food Additive Intake Model) was launched by EFSA on December 4 this year. This new tool is based on a number of food intake data collected from Members States and referred to different populations/ and subpopulations groups. FAIM allows to calculate the exposure to new food additives or already authorized food additives intended for new uses. It may be used also for other application such us novel food. The exposure to a given chemical substance, in this case the food additive, is one of the main steps of the risk assessment of human health. The risk assessment activity is composed by two main activities: the determination of the hazard profile fo the chemical which depends on its intrinsic properties and the exposure assessment of the chemical in the intended use conditions. The following risk assessment represent the relationship between the hazardous profile (in some cases indicated simply by toxicity) and the exposure. It follows that substance with high hazardous properties and low exposure and substance with low hazard properties but high exposure may have similar risk level. Some substances define as SVHC (Substance of Very High Concern) may deviate from the general Risk Assessment principle. They are considered very dangerous (carcinogenetic, mutagenic, or toxic for reproduction) and therefore their risk assessment is a more complex activity. For such a chemicals some EU Regulations foresee their ban form the market or their restriction of use (REACH Regulation): in some other cases the co called CUT-OFF criteria are applied in order to restrict their use.

In conclusion, the use of FAIM must be must be accompanied by a careful analysis of the substance we are evaluating, its hazardous profile and, at the end, of its ultimate risk Assessment.


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