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Microplastics: an emerging threat to food security and human health


Microplastic presence in seafood and foodstuff have been documented globally in recent studies. Consequently, human exposure to microplastics through the ingestion of contaminated food is inevitable and pose a risk to food security and human health. In this review, microplastics and related xenobiotics are defined, global evidence of microplastic pollution in seafood is reviewed, the impacts to commercial marine species and food security are discussed, and the current knowledge of its direct effects on human health is reviewed. In addition, limited information regarding food security and scientific gaps are identified. Although microplastics in the marine environment and its effects on marine organisms have been well documented, more research is needed to completely understand the implications of microplastics over food security and human health. Further research must focus on monitoring and eliminating microplastics along the food supply chain and determining the extent to which food security is affected by microplastic pollution.

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Correspondence to Gabriel Enrique De-la-Torre.

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De-la-Torre, G.E. Microplastics: an emerging threat to food security and human health. J Food Sci Technol 57, 1601–1608 (2020).

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  • Microplastic
  • Food security
  • Human health
  • Seafood
  • Food contamination