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Advanced research and training network in food quality, safety and security (FOODTRANET). Emerging chemicals in novel food commodities of animal origin.

The specific project to be developed at UA aims at identifying emerging chemicals in novel food items for human and animal consumption (including edible insects, farmed fish, insect-fed fish, beehive products, and dairy products) using non-target and suspect screening based methods.Year 1. At first, suitable workflows for non-target and suspect screening methodologies based on liquid chromatography and high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) will be developed and harmonized for the identification of emerging chemicals present in the selected food.Such methods are currently in full development for human biological samples (urine and serum), and it is expected that they could serve as basis for the methods to be developed in food.In case of non-target methods, data analysis will be carried out without any a priori defined suspects, while for suspect screening methods a comprehensive list of emerging chemicals that are suspected/expected to be present in the analyzed samples (e.g. emerging pesticides, per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, chlorinated paraffins, new plasticizers, etc.) will be set up. Then a selection of relevant samples (e.g. n=3 per food category) belonging to each novel food category will be purchased and analyzed.Year 2. Once the results of this first screening will be available, the dataset of samples belonging to the above-mentioned novel food categories will be widened (to n=10 per food category) and analyzed using the optimized methods. The performance of such analytical platforms and the generated results will then be critically assessed by chemometric data processing (combining multivariate analysis – like principal component analysis (PCA), random forest classification and support vector machines – with the application of univariate tests). The results of the statistical analysis will be combined with available information about food production, in order to establish differences and similarities in the patterns of emerging chemicals in novel food items.This information will be also transferred to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to assess the necessity of including these emerging chemicals in regular monitoring schemes.The outcomes of this project will contribute to a preliminary food safety assessment of the potential of such matrices to be used as alternative food sources. Additionally, this specific project will offer insights on the most "promising" novel food categories present on the Belgian market to favor. In parallel, the EU ETN proposal FoodTraNet will be re-submitted and the coordinator of FoodTraNet, Dr. Nives Ogrinc has supplied a letter of support stating this engagement. As such, this proof of concept of contamination with emerging chemicals will be able to increase the chances of success of the resubmitted proposal and will be able to extent the investigation at broader European level.
Date:1 Dec 2020  →  Today
Disciplines:Analytical separation and detection techniques, Instrumental methods , Analytical toxicology