Total Diet Study: For a Closer-to-real Estimate of Dietary Exposure to Chemical Substances

Recent amendment on the Food Sanitation Act in Korea mandated the Minister of Food & Drug Safety to secure the scientific basis for management and re-evaluation of standards and specifications of foods. Especially because the current food safety control is limited within the scope of ‘Farm to Market’ covering from production to retail in Korea, safety control at the plane of true ‘Farm to Fork’ scope is urgently needed and should include ‘total diet’ of population instead of individual food items. Therefore, ‘Total Diet Study (TDS)’ which provides ‘closer-to-real’ estimates of exposure to hazardous materials through analysis on table-ready (cooked) samples of foods would be the solution to more comprehensive food safety management, as suggested by World Health Organization and Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Although the protection of diets from hazards must be considered as one of the most essential public health functions of any country, we may need to revisit the value of foods which has been too much underrated by the meaningless amount of some hazardous materials in Korea. Considering the primary value of foods lies on sustaining life, growth, development, and health promotion of human being, food safety control should be handled not only by the presence or absence of hazardous materials but also by maximising the value of foods via balancing with the preservation of beneficial components in foods embracing total diet. In this regard, this study aims to provide an overview on TDS by describing procedures involved except chemical analysis which is beyond our scope. Also, details on the ongoing TDS in Korea are provided as an example. Although TDS itself might not be of keen interest for most readers, it is the main user of the safety reference values resulted from toxicological research in the public health perspective.

Authors: Kim CI, Lee J, Kwon S, Yoon HJ. ;Full Source: Toxicology Research. 2015 Sep;31(3):227-40. doi: 10.5487/TR.2015.31.3.227. ;