Food Contamination and Chemical Toxicology

Food contamination refers to the presence in food of harmful chemicals and microorganisms which can cause consumer illness. This article addresses the chemical contamination of foods, as opposed to microbiological contamination, which can be found under foodborne illness. The impact of chemical contaminants on consumer health and well-being is often apparent only after many years of processing. Prolonged exposure at low levels. Chemical contaminants present in foods are often unaffected by thermal processing. Processing contaminants are generated during the processing of foods (e.g., heating, fermentation). They are absent in the raw materials, and are formed by chemical reactions between natural and/or added food constituents during processing. The presence of these contaminants in processed foods cannot be entirely avoided. Technological processes can be adjusted and/or optimized, however, in order to reduce the levels of formation of processing contaminants. Chemical contaminants can be classified according to the source of contamination and the mechanism by which they enter the food product. While many food contaminants have been known for decades, the formation and presence of certain chemicals in foods has been discovered relatively recently. These are the so-called emerging food contaminants like acrylamide, furan, benzene, perchlorate, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), 3-monochloropropane-1,3-diol (3-MCPD), 4-hydroxynonenal, and (4-HNE).

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