In a new article published in the October 2014 issue of the peer-reviewed journal CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry, the use of the threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) approach is illustrated and discussed, as applied to the risk assessment of substances in food (Brüschweiler, 2014). Beat Brüschweiler of the Federal Food Safety and Veterinary Office, Switzerland, discusses the technical feasibility, applicability, safety, and further benefits of the TTC approach based on four case studies:

  • polychlorinated butadienes found in drinking water
  • non-intentionally added substance (NIAS) cyclo-di-BADGE (bisphenol A diglycidyl ether) formed as a by-product from epoxy resin coatings in canned fish
  • cyclic polyamide dimers found in food contact materials (FCMs) and kitchen utensils
  • fungal toxins found in crops, vegetables and fruits

Brüschweiler details how the outcome of the TTC approach, supplemented by in silico predictions, has led to various actions and decisions. One example is the determination of provisional intervention values for a specific migration limit of cyclo-di-BADGE from FCMs. He stresses that the given examples demonstrate the usefulness of the TTC results as a starting point for adequate decisions and actions to ensure food safety. Finally, he suggests that to facilitate broad level of consensus and acceptance of the TTC approach, the future refinements to the approach should be carried out under the auspices of an international independent organization.

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Brüschweiler, B.J. (2014). “The TTC approach in practice and its impact on risk assessment and risk management in food safety. A regulatory toxicologist’s perspective.” CHIMIA International Journal for Chemistry 68, 710–715.