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Welcome to Total Diet Study Exposure

TDS-Exposure is a four-year FP7-funded Collaborative (Research) Project with 26 partners from 19 countries, and led by Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation, de l’environnement et du travailanses (ANSES, FR).

Total diet studies (TDS) complement traditional monitoring and surveillance by providing a scientific basis for population dietary exposure to nutrients and non-nutrients including contaminants, and potential impact on public health.

Food selection will be based on national consumption data. Foods representing the usual diet for target populations will be collected, prepared as consumed, and related foods pooled prior to analysis. TDS-Exposure will focus on exposure to food contaminants including heavy metals, mycotoxins and persistent organic pollutants (POPs, e.g. polychlorinated biphenyls), which pose a risk to human health and the environment, and estimate chronic exposure to pesticide residues in food as well as food additives intake. However, exposure will be based on whole diets, as consumed, rather than contamination of raw commodities, resulting in a more realistic measure of exposure to potentially harmful compounds than currently available.

TDS facilitate risk assessment and health monitoring, but some EU Member States and Candidate Countries do not have TDS programmes or use a variety of methods to collect data, and it is not clear whether data are comparable. It is important to harmonise methods for dietary exposure risks worldwide, and TDS-Exposure will standardise methods for food sampling, analyses, exposure assessment calculations and modelling, priority foods, and selection of chemical contaminants. In the process, a variety of approaches and methods for sampling and analyses will be assessed, and best practice defined. Contaminants and foods that contribute most to total exposure in Europe will also be established.

In addition, TDS-Exposure will provide training for those countries without total diet studies, enabling best practice in the creation and execution of TDS programmes in those regions lacking such population studies, and ensuring the data collected are coherent with others studies globally. Information about these and existing European TDS will be published to promote better handling of dietary exposure data, and establish a legacy of harmonised methods and science-based recommendations for public health worldwide.