Information statements

June 2015

Trans fatty acids, like saturated fatty acids, raise LDL (or “bad”) cholesterol levels in the blood, thereby increasing the risk of coronary heart disease. While there is no evidence of risk at current UK levels of intake, and the reduction of the intake of...

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October 2014

Numerous research has demonstrated the many and interacting factors impacting portion size and food intake. Some eating does occur in response to biological signals, such as hunger, but the majority of eating occurs more in response to psychological factors...

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September 2016

Sugars are the basic building blocks of carbohydrates found in nature; they can be found in milk, tree saps and many fruits and vegetables. The most common sugars found in foods are the monosaccharides glucose, fructose and galactose and the disaccharides...

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September 2015

Steviol glycosides are a group of high-potency, zero-calorie sweeteners isolated from leaves of Stevia rebaudiana. Permitted as sweeteners in the EU since December 2011, steviol glycosides offer an opportunity to reduce the added sugar in a range of foods and...

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June 2015

Foodborne illness caused by shigatoxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) - sometimes also referred to as verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) or enterohaemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC) - was first recognised in the early 1980s.  Although...

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June 2015

PAHs are a group of relatively stable lipophilic organic substances containing two or more aromatic rings.

They are primarily formed during incomplete combustion or breakdown of organic matter at high temperatures and during various industrial processes...

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This updated Information Statement, dated March 2014, prepared by Prof J Ralph Blanchfield in cooperation with the IFST Scientific Committee, replaces the version published in November 2011

The term "phytosterols" covers plant sterols and plant stanols. Plant sterols are...

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August 2013

The last two decades have seen significantly increased interest in organic food, that is, food grown using husbandry principles and techniques that predates the introduction of modern agrochemicals and intensive farming methods.  These husbandry principles are...

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December 2013

This Information Statement defines what is meant by nanoscience and nanotechnology and reviews present and potential future applications of nanotechnology in the food industry. It examines the potential benefits and risks, and reviews present government,...

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March 2015

Mycotoxins occur widely in nature and are produced by filamentous fungi.   Organisms producing them can develop in foods at any stage in the food chain. They may be present in food as a result of the organism growing and producing the toxin or they enter the...

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October 2013

Health authorities around the world all agree that transmission of HIV/AIDS via food and beverages is not a known risk.  This situation needs to be made clear to all employers and employees in all branches of the food/drink industry and to the consuming...

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October 2014

Over the past 18 years, and in many parts of the world, genetically modified (GM) crops grown by 18 million farmers (of which 16 million are resource-poor farmers) have already provided significant improvements in the quantity and quality of the food supply...

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Feb 2017

The purpose of this statement is to provide the risk assessment background in relation to fresh produce including sprouted seeds and seeds for sprouting and to highlight current guides and codes of practice that have been developed for the food supply chain to...

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August 2013

The leading cause of gastroenteritis, foodborne viral infections are primarily due to two types of virus, norovirus which causes gastroenteritis and Hepatitis A virus which causes hepatitis. All foodborne viruses originate from the human intestine and...

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May 2017

Campylobacters occur widely as part of the intestinal flora of many warm-blooded animals and birds, particularly cattle and poultry, and can be carried in animals that are used for food production and in domestic pets, including cats and dogs. In addition, the...

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June 2015

Irradiation, carried out under conditions of Good Manufacturing Practice, is an effective, widely applicable food processing method judged to be safe on extensive available evidence, that can reduce the risk of food poisoning, control food spoilage and extend...

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November 2013

The recent horse meat scandal has highlighted the need to have the scientific means to check the components of our foods. As our population grows, increasing amounts of food are produced in the UK and also imported from overseas. The ingredients of an...

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This version, dated September 2015, cancels and replaces that of June 2013.

The problem of food allergens is part of a wider problem, that of all kinds of adverse reactions to foods, which can also result from microbial and chemical food poisoning, psychological aversions and specific non...

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January 2013

Dioxins are a group of relatively stable lipophilic organic substances. They are formed in small amounts during the combustion of organic materials and also in the manufacture of certain chemicals. They may be present in foods and feeds at low but measurable...

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April 2017

Cyclospora cayetanensis is an emerging infectious disease agent that causes a prolonged and severe diarrhoeal illness known as cyclosporiasis. This infection was first reported in 1979 in Papua New Guinea where an oocyst-like body was found in...

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December 2013

Cryptosporidium is a genus of parasitic protozoa that can cause cryptosporidiosis, a gastro-intestinal illness in humans, cattle and some other animals. In people, it causes abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, headaches and fever, but the infection...

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January 2014

Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a family of diseases which are a human health concern and pose a threat to agricultural and natural resources. They are characterised by a degeneration of brain tissue which include such diseases as...

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November 2013

The highly pathogenic H5N1 strains of avian flu, which are transmitted from wild birds to domestic poultry, are currently transmissible to humans only with great difficulty, as a result of close direct contact with live or dead infected birds. This is...

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March 2011

The purpose of this statement is to provide the reader with a brief overview to many of the relevant issues of the current debate. It describes some of the current approaches to cloning together with the implications to the welfare of the cloned animals and...

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February 2017

Acrylamide is a well-known industrial chemical whose primary use is the synthesis of polyacrylamide. The discovery of the presence of acrylamide in food first occurred when environmental contamination from a Swedish construction project caused widespread...

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November 2014

3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol) is the most commonly occurring of a group of contaminants known as chloropropanols. First identified as a contaminant of acid-hydrolyzed vegetable proteins and soy sauce it was later found in other food groups.

...

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