“Contaminants are substances that are potentially toxic to human health, of an inorganic or organic nature,” explained ANVISA (translated from Portuguese). “These substances are not intentionally added to food. They may be present in various food sources as a result of the production, manufacture, processing, preparation, treatment, packaging, transport or storage of food (or feed) or are also the result of environmental contamination.
“Food contaminants can harm consumers' health, depending on the toxicity of the substance, the amount ingested and the characteristics of the individual, such as body weight. One way to control these risks is by establishing maximum permitted levels of contaminants in food. For this, you need to know the level at which they occur.”
The agency is seeking information on over 30 contaminants, ranging from acrylamide and aflatoxins to copper, dioxins, PCBS, mercury and aromatic polycyclic hydrocarbons. The list, which can be viewed at the end of this article, was based on lists established by international regulatory references such as Codex Alimentarius, the EU, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
Data is being sought from a number of different stakeholders, including the food industry and educational and research institutions.
The deadline for contributions is January 31, 2020.
ANVISA is seeking data on: Citric acid; Erucic acid; Acrylamide; Acrylonitrile; Alkaloids of Ergot; Tropic Alkaloids; Aflatoxin M1; Amount of Aflatoxins (B1 + B2 + G1 + G2); Arsenic; Cadmium; Lead; Citrinin; Vinyl chloride; 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol-3MCPD); Copper; Chrome; Deoxynivalenol (DON); Dioxins, PCBs and the like; Tin; Fatty acid glycerol esters; Sum of Fimonisins (B1 + B2); Aromatic Polycyclic Hydrocarbons; Melamine; Mercury; Nitrates; Ochratoxin A; Patulin; Radionuclides; T-2 and HT-2 toxins; Zearalenone and 3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol-3MCPD.