Comparative hazard characterization in food toxicology

Ulf Hammerling, Annika Tallsjö, Roland Grafström, Nils-Gunnar Ilbäck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Historically, different approaches have been adopted for comparing and characterizing hazards that can be found in the very complex mixture of substances present in food. In this review a variety of prominent risk assessment models are evaluated in the context of food safety. In their current state of refinement, though, they show limited applicability for comparative hazard characterization and impact magnitude scoring of adverse effects of substances in food. Nonetheless, some existing models hold building blocks and modelling concepts that appear promising for further development and integration. Thus, a new, dedicated, and generally accepted model is needed that is capable of generating relevant “Impact Magnitude Score” (IMS) values for comparing potentially toxic substances in food. A brief outline of requirements for a model (Guided Toxicology-assessment of Health Impact; GTHI) is presented that considers “severity” (S), “duration” (D), and “proportion of population affected” (P). An important demand on such a model is to provide significantly improved food safety evaluation amenable to regulatory agencies and consumers. This review is based on a project entitled “Promoting food safety through a new integrated risk analysis approach for foods” (acronym: “SAFE FOODS”) that is under the subsidy of the European Commission.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-669
JournalCritical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2009
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Comparative hazard characterization
  • toxicology data heterogeneity
  • model building
  • risk assessment modeling
  • hazard comparison


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