History of Safe Use
Most foods that are consumed have not been subject to systematic toxicological and nutritional assessment but are generally regarded as safe to eat because of their long history of consumption and knowledge around preparation. This “history of safe use” of traditionally consumed foods can serve as a benchmark for comparative safety assessment of more novel foods and ingredients. It should be remembered that although traditionally consumed foods are considered safe, they may contain components such as antinutrients, toxins, and/or allergens. For example, potatoes are known to contain the glycoalkaloid solanine and the health risks of eating old or green potatoes have been understood for over a century (BMJ 1979; American Journal of Public Health 1917). Thus complete freedom from risks is an unattainable goal, safety and wholesomeness are related to a level of risk that society regards as reasonable in the context, and in comparison with other risks in everyday life (FAO 1997), and this needs to be considered when introducing new foods/ingredients.
KeywordsNutritional Assessment Comparator Material Antinutritional Factor Residual Solvent Complete Freedom
References and Further Reading
- BMJ (1979) Solanine poisoning. Br Med J 2:1458–1459Google Scholar
- Constable A, Jonas D, Cockburn A, Davi A, Edwards G, Hepburn P, Herouet-Guicheney C, Knowles M, Moseley B, Oberdörfer R, Samuels F (2007) History of safe use as applied to the safety assessment of novel foods and foods derived from genetically modified organisms. Food Chem Toxicol 45(12):2513–2525CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Consultation (1997) Risk management and food safety – FAO food and nutrition paper 65. http://www.fao.org/docrep/w4982e/w4982e00.htm