Do Actual Intakes Ever Equal Potential Intakes?
A variety of methods is available for estimating the intake of chemicals from the diet. A division may be made between those methods which measure, by chemical analysis, the actual intake either of individuals or the “average” consumer, for example duplicate diet and total diet studies, and those which estimate potential intakes either by constructing hypothetical scenarios, for example per capita estimates or by combining food consumption data with concentration data supplied by food manufacturers. This latter method may give actual intakes if there is no degradation of the chemical during storage or subsequent preparation in the home. Even within the same basic study method there are a number of variables which may influence the final intake figure : the analytical method used and assumptions made about concentrations which are below the limit of determination of the analytical methodology, the degree of preparation of the food, whether concentration data are available for all brands of a processed food etc. Although it is, therefore, only possible to estimate actual intakes, with care it is possible to achieve a reasonable approximation to the real situation.
KeywordsSugar Mercury Cadmium
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