Open Access Grey Literature

A Qualitative Assessment of the Risks of Transmission of Microorganisms to Humans Resulting from the Consumption of Raw Milk and Raw Cream in Norway

Hilde Kruse, Sigve Håvarstein, Georg Kapperud, Jørgen Lassen, Bjørn Tore Lunestad, Truls Nesbakken, Espen Rimstad, Lucy Robertson, Eystein Skjerve, Yngvild Wasteson

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 50-51
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430403

Pasteurisation of all consumer milk became mandatory in Norway in 1953, and this has been an important component of the protective measures that have reduced the incidence of milk and food borne diseases. In 2004, a complete recast of the hygiene legislation addressing both food hygiene and veterinary aspects was adopted by the European Union, the so-called “Hygiene package”. According to this legislation, each member state may, on its own initiative, prohibit or restrict the marketing of some foods like raw milk or raw cream, intended for direct human consumption within its territory. In response to this, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) commissioned the Panel on Biological Hazards of the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomitéen for mattrygghet), to prepare a risk assessment regarding the consumption of raw milk and raw cream. In response, an ad hoc Working Group of experts was appointed with the mandate to draft a risk assessment which should include the following components: identification and characterization of microbiological hazardous agents present in Norwegian raw milk; characterization of the public health consequences of these agents; assessment of the probability of transmission of these agents to humans by distribution of raw milk and cream. Additionally, the risk assessment should identify potential hazards to human health from the importation of raw milk, identify hazards associated with equipment used for production and storage of raw milk, and assess the risks associated with the potential transfer of antimicrobial resistance genes.


Observations concerning infections related to consumption of raw milk and raw cream in Norway, other European countries and North America, show that a number of pathogenic microorganisms, including emerging pathogens, can occur in raw milk and raw cream. These pathogenic microorganisms and their toxins may represent a real threat to human health. The panel concluded that the risks associated with E. coli O157:H7 and other EHEC, C. jejuni and L. monocytogenes in raw milk and cream are high. Furthermore the importation of raw milk to Norway may result in the (re)introduction of microorganisms, which have been eradicated, or never previously have been present, in Norway. This can have serious consequences for both human and animal health.

Open Access Grey Literature

A Risk Assessment of Shiga Toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) in the Norwegian Meat Chain with Emphasis on Dry-cured Sausages

Espen Rimstad, Leiv Sigve Håvarstein, Georg Kapperud, Jørgen Lassen, Bjørn-Tore Lunestad, Truls Nesbakken, Lucy Robertson, Eystein Skjerve, Yngvild Wasteson

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 52-54
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430404

  1. coli is part of the normal gastrointestinal microbial flora of humans and animals. E. coli bacteria causing enteric/diarrhoeal disease are categorized into different groups based on their virulence properties and pathogenic features in humans. Enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) are E. coli strains that  cause bloody diarrhoea  and haemolytic uraemic  syndrome  (HUS)  in humans, and have a defined zoonotic association. The major virulence factor of EHEC (and the actual  cause  of HUS)  is  the  ability  to  produce Shiga  toxins  (Stx),  thus  the  name Shiga Toxin Producing E. coli (STEC).  With enteropathogenic Escherichia  coli  (EPEC),  the diarrhoea in these  patients  is  due  to  attaching  and  effacing  (A/E)  lesions  in  the  enteric epithelium. 


This risk assessment  was  conducted  after  a  human  outbreak  of  STEC  O103  in  2006, associated with contaminated dry-fermented sausages.


The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomitéen for mattrygghet), Panel on  Biological  Hazards,  was  asked  by  the  Norwegian  Food  Safety  Authority (Mattilsynet) for  a  risk  assessment  regarding  shiga  toxin-producing  E.  coli  (STEC)  in  the Norwegian meat chain, with emphasis on dry-cured sausages. In response, an ad hoc Working Group  of  experts was  appointed with  the mandate  to  draft  a  risk  assessment  regarding  this issue.


The current report approaches the task by following and analysing the entire process, from the origin of the meats at farm level, to the final production and storage of dry-cured sausages. An overall  aim of  the  report has been  to  identify  and describe potential  intervention options  in various parts of this chain.  


The main conclusions from the risk assessment are as follows:


  1. It is  not  possible  to  give  any  reliable  quantitative  estimates  of  the  current  risk associated with consumption of dry-cured sausages. 


  1. There are  no  clear  indications  of  any  general  change  in  the  epidemiology  of  STEC  infections in humans in Norway over the last decade.


  1. There is no documentation that there has been any change in the occurrence of various STEC in the domestic animal reservoir during the last decade.


  1. The combination of proper slaughter hygiene and use of  thermal decontamination of sheep,  cattle  and  pig  carcasses  represents  an  efficient  way  to  reduce  STEC contamination. This approach would not only cause a reduction in the contamination level of STEC, but also provide a general beneficial effect on the level of other enteric pathogens, such as Salmonella and Yersinia enterocolitica.


  1. Proper use  of  starter  cultures  in  fermentation,  combined  with  higher  fermentation temperatures,  will  reduce  the  probability  of  growth  of  STEC  in  contaminated  drycured sausages.


  1. A combination  of  higher  fermentation  temperatures,  a  lower  pH  during  the  process, and heat-treatment of  the  final product should effectively eliminate  the potential  risk for transmission of STEC infections from consumption of dry-cured sausages. A 5 log reduction is possible.


  1. Technological options  are  available  to  reduce  significantly  the  transfer  of  potential pathogens through meats in general, and specifically through dry-cured sausages. 


  1. The most important data gap is the lack of information about the actual occurrence of STEC infections  in  humans  in Norway.  Improved  laboratory  diagnostic  procedures and  epidemiological  surveillance,  combined with  better  reporting  and  tracing  in  the health care system are necessary. 


  1. The implementation  of  properly  designed  base-line  studies  of  various  domestic animals,  to  provide  data  on  the  occurrence  of  various  serotypes  and  their  virulence factors  present  is  recommended.  Also,  this  would  provide  a  better  basis  for comparison with human isolates. 

Open Access Grey Literature

Assessment and Updating of the Fortification Model from 2006

Margaretha Haugen, Jutta Dierkes, Wenche Frølich, Livar Frøyland, Ragnhild Halvorsen, Per Ole Iversen, Jan Ludvig Lyche, Azam Mansoor, Helle Margrete Meltzer, Bjørn Steen Skålhegg

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 55-57
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430405

In 2006 the, the Panel on Nutrition, Dietetic Products, Novel Food and Allergy in the Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) adapted a Danish model for assessing applications concerning food fortification into Norwegian conditions. The fortification model is presently used by the Norwegian Food Safety Authorities as a tool in the management of applications on food fortification.


The model from 2006 was based on intake calculations from dietary surveys from 1997-2000. Since then, new national dietary surveys have been published. These are the comprehensive nationwide Norwegian dietary surveys among adults (Norkost 3, 2010-2011), among young children (Småbarnskost, 2007) and infants (Spedkost, 2006-2007). The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has requested VKM to implement the new data into the fortification model from 2006.


In the model from 2006 it is assumed that 25% of the energy in the diet can be derived from fortified foods and drinks. Information from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority, including about a pilot study for Norkost 3 suggested that the overall intake of fortified foods and drinks was marginal. From management of applications for fortified foods, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority also experienced that there are few fortified foods on the market in Norway.  The Norwegian Food Safety Authority has therefore requested VKM to evaluate whether the assumption that 25 energy percent (E%) deriving from fortified foods can be reduced to 15 E%, and if such a reduction will have health implications. In addition, the Norwegian Food Safety Authority has asked VKM to perform an evaluation of the safety factors in the model.


VKM argues that the model for fortification should be based on the dietary intake of vitamins and minerals at the 95th percentile level in various age groups. This is in accordance with risk assessments performed in European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), and will assure that the dietary intake in a majority of the population will be covered, still within a reasonable secure use of dietary exposure calculations. Mean intake of vitamins and minerals from food supplements (among users only) was chosen, in an attempt to reduce the impact of those with a high intake of supplements. The intake at 95th percentile from the diet plus the mean nutrient intake from supplements is deducted from the tolerable upper intake level (UL) for each nutrient in each age group, giving the maximum amount of nutrients that can be “allocated” for food fortification. The maximum amount of a nutrient that can be “allocated” is then distributed over the energy intake at the 95th percentile level. In this manner an estimate is made showing which age group is most likely to have an excessive intake of a certain nutrient. 


VKM does not have access to any other information about available fortified foods on the Norwegian market than the information given by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. However, based on this information, VKM considers that it seems reasonable that the energy intake from fortified foods is reduced to 15 E%. In this revised fortification model the assumption from 2006 that 25 E% of the total energy intake will be derived from fortified foods, have therefore been reduced to 15 E%. This adjustment implies that the addition of e.g. vitamin D, vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin C and calcium per 100 kcal can be increased without risk of exceeding UL. No changes are made for e.g. vitamin A, beta-carotene, magnesium, iron, zinc or copper. A more summary is presented in Table 1 and Appendix 1.


The Panel on nutrition, dietetic products, novel food and allergy considers that this model for management of fortification will reduce health risk that could be caused by unauthorised food fortification.

Open Access Grey Literature

Assessment of Benefits and Risks of Probiotics in Processed Cerealbased Baby Foods Bifidobacterium Lactis Bb12

Ragnhild Halvorsen, Judith Narvhus, Jørgen Lassen, Tore Midtvedt, Jarle Rugtveit, Siamak Yazdankhah, Lene Frost Andersen, Wenche Frølich, Livar Frøyland, Margaretha Haugen, Georg Kapperud, Bjørn Tore Lunestad, Ernst Arne Høiby, Helle Margrete Meltzer, Truls Nesbakken, Karin Nygård, Ørjan Olsvik, Jan Erik Paulsen, Lucy Robertson, Michael Tranulis, Morten Tryland, Espen Rimstad

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 58-60
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430406

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) has appointed an ad hoc-group of experts to answer a request from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority regarding benefit and risk assessment of B. lactis Bb12 in baby foods focusing on the age groups 4-6 months, 612 months and 1-3 years. This assessment is based on the literature provided by the notifier as well as that found by a MEDLINE search. 


An notification for use of processed cereal-based baby foods (from now on called cereals) intended for infants and small children supplemented with the microorganism Bifidobacterium lactis (B. lactis) Bb12 in Norway initiated this work.  


Studies of potential hazards and positive health effects from cereals containing B. lactis Bb12 intended for infants and young children have not been reported in the available literature. However, reports on safety of and positive health effects from infant and follow on formula supplemented with B. lactis Bb12 are available and have been assessed by VKM. In most of these clinical studies B. lactis Bb12 was administered in combination with other probiotic strains.


Clinical studies report no serious adverse events of infant formula supplemented with B. lactis Bb12. The effect of long term daily consumption of such supplemented formula by the actual age groups is not known.


A few studies have demonstrated some effect of supplementing baby food with probiotics, including B. lactis Bb12, on diarrhoea and atopic eczema while other studies do not show such effects. Thus, the scientific evidence for a favourable effect of supplementing formula or solid food with B. lactis Bb12, is weak and in some cases lacking. 


There are no studies demonstrating a positive effect of cereals supplemented with B. lactis Bb12 intended for infants and small children.


Several health claims related to probiotics have been assessed by EFSA, including claims on reduction of gastro-intestinal discomfort, normal functioning of the alimentary tract, building of the natural intestinal barrier, improvement of the general immunity, mental and cognitive developments of children and immune system of children during growth. In the opinions so far, EFSA has concluded that a cause and effect relationship has not been established between the consumption of the probiotic containing products and the claimed effect. None of the products assessed so far contained B. lactis Bb12 (1 November 2009).


Commercially produced cereals are frequent given to infants and small children in Norway from an early age and this is particularly important for the establishment of the intestinal bacterial flora and the development of the intestinal mucosal immune system. According to the notifier, one portion (25gram) of the cereal powder contains 1 x 109 B. lactis Bb12 in monoculture. Taking into consideration that the daily intake is often greater than one portion of cereals, even in infants below 6 months of age, this would represent a daily intake of 1-2 x 109 cfu B. lactis Bb12 for an infant 4-6 months and even more in infants above 6 months. If a considerable amount of the B. lactis Bb12 survives the transport to the small intestine, it would represent a dominating and monocultural supply, often several times a day, to the small intestine.  The immaturity and vulnerability of the intestinal microbiota and the immune system makes the two lowest age groups, 4 – 6 and 6 – 12 months, at the highest risk of unwanted health effects due to the daily intake of probiotics.  

Open Access Grey Literature

Assessment of Creatine in Sports Products

Wenche Frølich, Elisabet Børsheim, Truls Raastad, Livar Frøyland, Ragnhild Halvorsen, Per Ole Iversen, Inger Therese L. Lillegaard, Jan Ludvig Lyche, Azam Mansoor, Helle Margrete Meltzer, Judith Narvhus, Margaretha Haugen

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 61-63
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430407

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomiteen for mattrygghet, VKM) has at the request of the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) conducted an assessment of creatine in sports products (e.g. supplements). The evaluation has been performed by an ad hoc group, and assessed by the VKM Panel on nutrition, dietetic products, novel food and allergy.


The evaluation of safety and possible risks of creatine supplementation in this opinion is based on previous reports, 23 original papers and 14 reviews from literature searches.


Marketing and sales of sport products are increasing in the Nordic countries, with creatine supplements being one of four most common categories. In addition to be used by athletes,   the use of creatine supplements seems to increase among general exercisers and young people. Creatine supplements are mainly used for their supposed effects on muscles  mass and high intensity and short duration sport performances. Supplementation has been shown to result in higher concentration of creatine phosphate in the muscles, which is the limited substrate.


For athletes, it is recommended a loading dose of 10-20 g/day for 4-7 days and a maintenance dose of 2-5 g/day for weeks or months. Some athletes continue the maintenance dose for   several years. It is well documented that creatine supplementation has positive effects on muscle mass combined with strength training and performance during maximal exercise.  There are however large individual variation in the response, and there are responders and non-responders.


The new scientific literature, including long term studies, is in line with the EFSA (European Food Safety Authority) opinion from 2004.


VKM Panel on nutrition, dietetic products, novel food and allergy supports the EFSA conclusion that supplementation of creatine in doses below 3 g/day is unlikely to pose any risks if the purity of the creatine compound is adequate. 


Scientific long-term studies with doses up to 5-10 g/day in adult athletes have shown no harmful effects, but there are no dose-response studies indicating a safe upper limit for creatine. 


The potential negative effects (impaired kidney function, weight gain and gastrointestinal disturbances) which have been published in non scientific journals and anecdotal reports  have not found support in controlled systematic studies on healthy subjects. It has  been indicated that individuals with impaired kidney functions should refrain from creatine supplements.


Creatine-monohydrate is the most studied form of creatine supplements, and only creatine monohydrate has been included in the scientific investigations on adverse effects. 

Open Access Grey Literature

Assessment of Benefits and Risks of Probiotics in Processed Cereal-based Baby Foods Lactobacillus Paracasei ssp. Paracasei F19

Ragnhild Halvorsen, Jørgen Lassen, Tore Midtvedt, Judith Narvhus, Jarle Rugtveit, Siamak Yazdankhah, Karl Eckner, Wenche Frølich, Livar Frøyland, Per Ole Iversen, Georg Kapperud, Inger Therese L. Lillegaard, Bjørn-Tore Lunestad, Jan Ludvig Lyche, Azam Mansoor, Helle Margrete Meltzer, Truls Nesbakken, Karin Nygård, Lucy Robertson, Michael Tranulis, Morten Tryland, Margaretha Haugen

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 64-66
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430408

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (VKM) has appointed an ad hoc-group of experts to answer a request from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority regarding benefit and risk assessment of Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei F19 (F19) in processed cerealbased baby foods intended for small children 1-3 years. This assessment is based on the literature provided by the notifier as well as that found by a MEDLINE search. 


A notification regarding two products of processed cereal-based baby foods (hereafter called cereals), intended for small children and supplemented with the bacterium F19 initiated this work.


A daily supply of a monoculture of a particular bacterial strain in large quantities to an age group without a fully established intestinal flora, may have unknown adverse effects. There are however, to our knowledge, no studies investigating possible short or long term adverse health effects of F19 in processed cereal-based baby food given to children 13 months onwards.


The documentation and information provided by the notifier regarding the genetic stability of F19 in the two products during processing and storage, is considered insufficient and does not allow any conclusions to be drawn. 


Moreover, the documentation obtained is not conclusive regarding the antibiotic resistance pattern of the bacterial strain used in the products in question, as the information on different antibiotics is partly inconsistent. The information about specific localization (chromosomal, plasmid) of the resistance genes is not sufficient. 


Studies demonstrate that F19, as well as other bacterial strains considered probiotic, is able to “crosstalk” with enterocytes in mice and that the result of the “crosstalk” depends upon the microbiota present. Whether F19 has a similar “crosstalk-profile” in humans is unknown. However, as the strain is originally of human origin, it seems reasonable to assume that such “crosstalk” may occur. Thus, before giving F19 daily for months and years, it seems reasonable to ask for additional molecular and physiological studies to unravel the functional impact of possible changes in genetic expression in children. 


Lactobacillus infections do occasionally occur, mainly as bacteremia, endocarditis and localized infections (e.g. abscesses, peritonitis, and meningitis) in patients with severe underlying diseases. Most of them are elderly, but children are not excluded. The species most often isolated are L. casei and L. rhamnosus, followed by L. paracasei. 


The increasing use of immunosuppressive therapy and broad spectrum antibiotics which are ineffective against Lactobacillus, might increase the importance of these bacteria as possible pathogens. In order to be able to draw any conclusions regarding beneficial effects of F19, there is a need for randomized placebo-controlled studies in larger populations and in the relevant age group. 


According to EFSA, Lactobacillus paracasei ssp. paracasei F19 is sufficiently characterized. The documentation provided is, however, not sufficient to claim positive health effects and thus F19 is not proven to be probiotic. 


There are no published dose-response studies of F19 in children, neither regarding survival of F19 in the gastrointestinal tract, nor possible negative health effects. Thus the potential for negative health effects as e.g. spreading of antimicrobial resistance or unfavourable impact on the genetic expression in children related to the frequency and/or dose of a monoculture of F19 cannot be assessed.

Open Access Grey Literature

Assessment of Four Studies on Developmental Neurotoxicity of Bisphenol A

Knut Helkåas Dahl, Ragna Bogen Hetland, Edel Holene, Mona-Lise Binderup, Trine Husøy, Jan Erik Paulsen, Tore Sanner, Inger-Lise Steffensen, Vibeke Thrane, Jan Alexander

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 67-69
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430409

The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety (Vitenskapskomiteen for mattrygghet, VKM) has on the request from the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) assessed four studies on developmental neurotoxicity following low dose exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) (Adriani et al., 2003; Carr et al., 2003; Negishi et al., 2004; Ryan and Vandenbergh, 2006). The background for the request is uncertainties related to developmental neurotoxcity of BPA raised by the Nordic environmental agencies in Norway, Sweden and Denmark. VKM was asked to consider if these studies provide sufficient evidence to set a lower no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) in the hazard characterisation of BPA. Further, a Norwegian exposure scenario based on available exposure data should be performed. The task has been assessed by the Scientific Panel on Food Additives, Flavourings, Processing Aids, Materials in Contact with Food and Cosmetics (Panel 4).


Bisphenol A (CAS number 80-05-7) is primarily used as a monomer in the production of polycarbonate, which is used to make food containers, such as beverage bottles, baby bottles, tableware and storage containers. It is also used as a precursor of certain epoxy resins used for protective coatings for food and beverage cans. BPA is permitted for use in food contact materials in the European Union (EU) with a specific migration limit (SML) of 0.6 mg/kg food. The migration limit in the EU regulations has yet to be modified according to an opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) from 2006 where a new established tolerable daily intake (TDI) of 0.05 mg BPA/kg body weight (bw) was derived from a NOAEL of 5 mg/kg bw/day.


A European Union Risk Assessment Report (RAR) of BPA produced in accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) 793/93 has recently been updated (April 2008) reviewing a previously requested 2-generation study in mice (Tyl et al., 2007) and new data on human exposure and effects of BPA. A NOAEL of 50 mg/kg bw/day was suggested in this report. The Nordic environmental agencies (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) have participated in the discussions on this updated EU RAR of BPA and they strongly disagreed that this NOAEL also covers developmental neurotoxicity. According to the Nordic environmental agencies, the four above mentioned studies indicate a possible risk for developmental neurotoxicity of BPA at very low exposure levels (0.1-0.25 mg/kg bw/day). The position of the Nordic environmental agencies has been included as a footnote in the revised EU RAR.


Recently, in April 2008, the U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP), Health Canada and Environment Canada have published draft reports on effects of BPA, including developmental effects (neural and behavioural effects) and expressed some concern for neural and behavioural effects in fetuses, infants and children at current human exposures. The European Commission has therefore asked EFSA to further assess possible age dependent toxicokinetics of BPA in animals and humans and their implications for hazard and risk assessment of BPA taken into account the most recent information and data available.


The present opinion from VKM Panel 4 is based on an evaluation of the design, conduct (or accomplishment) and the results in the four above mentioned studies. The study design has been evaluated in light of international recommendations given in relevant guidelines dealing with developmental neurotoxicity testing in animals. The recent international developments on BPA in the U.S. and Canada are not addressed in this opinion.


The report by Tyl and co-workers was central in the EFSA opinion from 2006 and the updated EU RAR from 2008. The Tyl study is a GLP compliant 2-generation reproductive toxicity evaluation in mice performed according to a modified OECD 416 guideline. However, the study did not include functional tests for developmental neurotoxicity.


VKM has reviewed the four above mentioned studies on neurodevelopmental toxicity of BPA as requested by the Norwegian Food Safety Authority. Although the design and reporting of these studies suffer from major and serious shortcomings, the overall findings may raise some concern.

It is the opinion of the VKM Panel 4 that the four studies do not provide sufficient evidence for setting a robust lower NOAEL for BPA than the current EFSA NOAEL of 5 mg/kg bw/day. The Panel is aware that the EU Commission recently has requested EFSA to re-evaluate the information available on BPA.


In order to eliminate any uncertainty regarding potential developmental effects of BPA at low doses, it is recommended that a GLP compliant study is carried out according to OECD guideline 426. Such a study should utilize a broad concentration range from the very low doses up to those with known maternal effects.


A Norwegian exposure scenario based on available data on exposure to BPA from food and beverages and via the environment was performed. In general, exposure levels of BPA in Norway are low. The estimated exposure of infants and children is in the range of 3.5 – 13.2 μg/kg bw/day, whereas the estimated aggregated exposure of adults is 1.5 μg/kg bw/day. As a result of the current use of BPA in food contact materials and other consumer products, infants and children are exposed to higher levels of BPA per kg body weight than the rest of the population.

Open Access Grey Literature

Risk Assessment of Genetically Modified Carnation SHD-27531-4

Åshild Andreassen, Ville Erling Sipinen, Merethe Aasmo Finne, Per Brandtzaeg, Knut Helkås Dahl, Knut Tomas Dalen, Olavi Junttila, Richard Meadow, Inger Elisabeth Måren, Kåre M. Nielsen, Monica Sanden, Rose Vikse, Hilde-Gunn Opsahl-Sorteberg

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 70-71
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430410

Carnation SHD-27531-4 is a genetically modified variety of Dianthus caryophyllus L. used as a decorative plant species. The red-purple colour of the flowers results from expression of the two newly introduced genes dfr and f 3’5’h, encoding the enzymes dihydroflavonol 4reductase (DFR) and flavonoid 3’,5’-hydroxylase (F3’5’H). The two enzymes enable the production of the pigments delphinidin and cyanidin (anthocyanidins) in the flower petals. Anthocyanidins and their sugar derivatives, anthocyanins, make up a large group of natural colours and are accepted food additives (E 163). The colours of most flowers, berries and fruits consist of a combination of anthocyanidins and anthocyanins. 

Carnation line SHD-27531-4 also contains a mutated herbicide tolerance gene from Nicotiana tabacum , coding for an acetolactate synthase (ALS) variant protein, used to facilitate the selection of GM plantlets during the genetic transformation process. Southern blot analysis and sequencing indicate only a single copy of the intended T-DNA insert in the SHD-27531-4 genome. Flanking sequences show no disruption of endogenous genes. In silico analyses show no significant homologies between the DFR, F3’5’H an ALS proteins and known toxins and IgE-bound allergens. No observed changes in the introduced trait, i.e. the particular flower colour, indicative of instability, have been reported during several generations of vegetatively propagated plants. 


Considering that carnation SHD-27531-4 is not intended for cultivation or use as food or feed, the VKM GMO Panel considers the comparative analysis of the anthocyanidins delphinidin, cyanidin, petunidin and pelargonidin in the flower petals sufficient for the risk assessment. The reported morphological differences between SHD-27531-4 and the parent cultivar do not raise safety concerns. 


Based on current knowledge and the scope of the application, the VKM GMO Panel concludes that the DFR, F3’5’H and ALS proteins and anthocyanidin pigments are unlikely to increase a potential health risk related to an accidental intake or other exposure routes to carnation SHD-27531-4 compared to the conventional counterpart or other non-GM carnations. 


Likewise, the VKM GMO Panel concludes that carnation SHD-27531-4, based on current knowledge and the intended use as cut ornamental flowers, does not represent an environmental risk in Norway.

Open Access Original Research Article

Physico-Chemical Properties of Biscuits Enriched with Dried Microwave-Blanched Fruit Peelings

Feumba Dibanda Romelle, Panyoo Akdowa Emmanuel, Tiencheu Bernard, Aswhini Rani, Mbofung Carl Moses

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 1-11
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430398

Aims: To investigate the dough rheological properties as well as physical, nutritional, antioxidant and sensory properties of biscuits supplemented   with dried microwave-blanched orange, apple and pomegranate peels at various levels (0-10%, wheat flour substitution).

Methodology: Water absorption capacity and pasting properties of wheat flour blended with   fruit   peels   were   assessed   using   farinograph   and   micro   viscoamylograph. Physico-chemical properties as well as antioxidant activities were measured using standard methods. The sensory analysis was performed by trained panelists.

Results: Water absorption capacity of the dough increased significantly with increasing levels of orange and apple peels while it decreased with pomegranate peels. However, peak,  hot  paste,  cold  paste  and  breakdown  viscosities  of  the  dough  significantly decreased with increasing proportions of apple and orange peels while they increased with pomegranate peels. The breaking force and weight of the biscuits supplemented with pomegranate peels were the lowest.  Supplementation of biscuits with fruit peelings enhanced the ash and fibre content of the biscuits but had no significant effect on their antioxidant activities except for biscuits containing 10% apple peels which had higher antioxidant activity compared to biscuit controls. Biscuits supplemented with 5% of fruit peels were the most appreciated in terms of surface character, crumb colour and texture.

Conclusion:  This study showed that dried microwave-blanched apple peels can be incorporated into biscuits to enhance both their nutritional and antioxidant properties.

Open Access Original Research Article

The Behavioural Pattern of Pregnant Mothers towards Antenatal Clinics and Its Implications on their Nutritional Knowledge in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area, Rivers State

Wachukwu-Chikodi, I. Happiness, Amadi, Gift Amukeru, Deedam, Nua Janet

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 12-23
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430399

The study examined the behavioural pattern of pregnant mothers towards antenatal clinics and its implications on their nutritional knowledge. The study adopted descriptive cross sectional study with a target population of pregnant women in the some selected villages in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. The sample size of the study comprised 200 pregnant women attending their normal antenatal cares clinics in the sixty-six (66) primary health care centres in Obio-Akpor Local Government Area. The instrument for data collection was questionnaire. To ensure the validity of the instrument, the questionnaire was being giving to the women during their antenatal visit in the hospitals and lectures in the department of Food Sciences and Technology for scrutiny and suggestions, correction and amendment. The data obtained from the sampled respondents through the use of structured questionnaire were analyzed using frequency, percentage, cumulative percentage, mean and standard deviation. The result of the findings indicated that majority of the respondents strongly agreed that the most observable negative implications of pregnant mothers’ behavioural pattern towards antenatal cares clinic on their nutritional knowledge is that it increases the potential health risks during and after pregnancy while lesser number of the respondents strongly believed that the negative implications could be a reduction in the intake of nutrient capable of preventing anemia in the mother and lacks knowledge on the relevance of balanced diets during pregnancy. Therefore, it was recommended that the relationship existing between pregnant mothers and personnel of antenatal clinics should be made more cordial through increased awareness especially to pregnant mothers on the roles of antenatal cares clinics in ensuring the development of fetus and ensuring good maternal health. This will reduce the nonchalant attitude existed by pregnant mothers in seeking available antenatal care.

Open Access Original Research Article

Nutritional Potential of Two Insect Species Consumed in Togo: Gnathocera trivittata (Swederus, 1787) and Gnathocera impressa (Olivier, 1789)

Fègbawè Badanaro, Amivi Tete-Benissan, Kou'santa Amouzou

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 24-32
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430400

Aims:  The objective of this study is to determine the nutritional values of Gnathocera trivittata and Gnathocera impressa in order to promote their consumption for food security.

Place and Duration of Study: Samples of G. trivittata and G. impressa were caught in Togo in the three following localities: Kparatao (8°57'151"N; 1°11'838"E), Kpéwa (9°16'978"N; 1°14'149"E) and Soudou (9°21'604"N; 1°21'348"E), between September and December 2013.

Methodology: The contents of ash, protein, vitamins as well as lipids were determined. Fiber content was obtained. Minerals were analyzed by atomic absorption spectrophotometry and colorimetry. Fatty acid composition of the lipids was determined by gas chromatography and the amino acid composition was obtained by separation of the individual amino acids using the Biochrom 30+ amino acid analyzer.

Results: The results reveal that the average protein content of the insects studied ranged from 59.36 to 61.63%. Average lipid levels ranged from 9.09 to 9.86%. They contain all the essential fatty and amino acids. Their average fiber content fluctuates between 8.35 and 10.05%. Regarding the composition of micronutrients, the species studied are very rich in minerals and vitamins. The ratios of minerals, fatty acids and essential amino acids are balanced.

Conclusion:  Given the nutritional potentials of the insects studied, they can contribute significantly to the fight against protein-energy and micronutrient malnutrition in Togo.

Open Access Original Research Article

Microbial Quality of Industrially Processed Sachet-Packed Fruit Drinks Consumed Mostly by School Children in Nigeria

P. T. Fowoyo, H. Amadi

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 33-40
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430401

Fruit drinks are often packed as accompaniments with school children’s lunch packs in Nigeria. In recent times, reports from consumers stated that a lot of these drinks when opened up and poured into cups before drinking, fungal mass was present and this has queried the safety of consumption of these drinks. The aim of this study was to determine whether commercially packed fruit drinks consumed majorly by school children were microbially contaminated. Twenty (20) samples of sachet packed fruit drinks comprising of 4 different flavours precisely orange, pineapple, apple and multivitamin flavours were analyzed for their microbial quality. The total bacterial and fungal counts in the samples examined did not exceed the regulatory microbiological criteria for fruit drinks. Lactobacillus, Bacillus, Staphylococcus aureus, Rhizopus, Aspergillus and Penicillium species were isolated from the samples.  Lactobacillus poses no health risk to the consumer however, the incidence of Bacillus and Staphylococcus aureus  in the drink samples is quite worrisome as they have been implicated as potential pathogens. The fungal species isolated are of public health concern especially as some have been implicated as mycotoxin producers. The presence of these organisms in the drinks may be attributed to indigenous microflora of fruits or concentrates used, poor hygienic practices during production and low pH of the drinks. It is therefore necessary that fruit drink manufacturers adhere strictly to microbiological quality standards and specifications during production especially for foods to be consumed by children with developing immune systems.

Open Access Original Research Article

Triglyceride Composition of Almond Seed Oil (Terminalia catappa) Grown in Nigeria using GC-MS and 1H-NMR Spectroscopy

Afolayan S. Sunday, Fashanu T. Abosede, Enenche E. Daniel, Adediji A. Yetunde, Salawu R. Adenike, Lawal I. Oluwasanmi

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 41-49
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430402

Almond (Terminalia catappa) seeds are rich in oil; however, their study has received limited attention, with researches focused mainly on their health potentials. The present study assesses the composition of the fatty acid (FA) components present in the almond seed oils extracted using soxhlet apparatus and analysed by 1H-NMR (Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) and Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS). Generally, there was significant agreement between the results from the 1H-NMR and GC-MS analyses, however, 1H NMR gave more reliable and reproducible results. The GC-MS and 1H NMR results revealed that the oils contained oleic acid (>18 %), linoleic (>28%) linolenic acid (≤0.03 %) and saturated fatty acids (>44 %).

Open Access Original Research Article

Separation of Commercially Important Tuna from Other Fishes Using Feature Descriptor and Pre-trained CNN Models

Jisha Anu Jose, C. Sathish Kumar, S. Sureshkumar

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 72-82
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430411

Aims / Objectives: Identification of fish species is essential in export industries. Among the different fish species exported, tuna forms a significant portion and hence the separation of tuna from other fishes is necessary. The work aims to develop automated systems for the separation of commercially important tuna from other fishes. 

Methodology: The work proposes two models for the classification of commercial fishes. The first model uses conventional feature descriptors, which extract features from both spatial and frequency domain. These features are combined and are reduced by an ensemble dimension reduction method. The combined and reduced feature sets are evaluated using different classifiers. The second proposed model uses four pre-trained convolutional neural networks, VGG16, VGG19, Xception, and MobileNet, for the classification. The models are fine-tuned for the classification process.

Results: Results show that for the first model, extreme learning machine classifier with Mercer wavelet kernel gives high accuracy on combined feature set while the polynomial kernel ELM provides better performance with the reduced set. For the second model, a comparison of the performance of four CNN models is done, and results indicate that VGG19 outperforms other networks in the classification task. 

Conclusion: Among the two proposed models, pre-trained CNN based model shows better performance than the conventional method in the separation task. Different performance measures, accuracy, precision, recall, F-score, and misclassification error are used to evaluate the system. A comparison of performance of the proposed models with the state-of-the-art systems is also reported.

Open Access Original Research Article

Effectiveness of Behaviour Change Communication for Mothers on Complementary Feeding Practices and Infants’ Nutritional Status in Nigeria

Kolade Afolayan Afolabi, Adebukunola Olajumoke Afolabi

European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, Page 83-97
DOI: 10.9734/ejnfs/2021/v13i430413

Introduction: The quality of feeding in early childhood depends on nutritional knowledge of mothers. Improving maternal nutrition knowledge is therefore pivotal towards promoting effective infants’ feeding behaviour.

Objective: Study assessed mothers’ knowledge about complementary feeding and complementary feeding practices. Study also assessed effectiveness of Behaviour Change Communication on mothers’ knowledge and complementary feeding practices, compared the nutritional status of infants whose mothers received intervention to infants of mothers in the control group.

Materials and Methods: A quasi-experimental study conducted among 204 mothers in rural and urban local government areas, South-west Nigeria between March and September, 2019. Sample size was estimated using formula for comparison of two proportions, eligible mothers were selected through multistage sampling technique. Study was conducted in three phases: pre-intervention phase, intervention and post intervention phases.

Intervention: Selected mothers were randomly assigned into intervention and control groups. Mothers in the intervention group received Behavior Change Communication on complementary feeding and were followed up for six months.

Data Analysis: Data was analyzed using SPSS software version 25, Chi-square and repeated analysis of variance evaluated effectiveness of intervention, level of significance was < 0.05.

Results: BCC improved mothers’ knowledge about complementary feeding by 31.9% (χ2 = 21.62; p = 0.001), meal frequency by 16% (χ2 = 5.88, p = 0.01), dietary diversity by 19.6% (χ2 = 7.44, p = 0.01), minimum acceptable diet by 20.6% (χ2 = 13.09; p =0.01). Intervention also reduced under-weight by 14% (χ2 = 0.69, p = 0.01; (F(1,191) =275.34; p = 0.04) among intervention group.

Conclusion: Effective nutritional intervention for mothers towards improving nutritional status of children should incorporate appropriate behaviour change approach. This approach is capable of improving nutritional status of infants and children and consequently reduce malnutrition and related complications in early childhood.