Information statements

October 2018

3-MCPD is the most commonly occurring group of contaminants known as chloropropanols. First identified as a contaminant of acid-hydrolysed vegetable proteins and soy sauce, it was later found in other foods. 3-MCPD and its esters can be formed in heat...

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December 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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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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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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December 2018

Bisphenol A (BPA) is an organic compound that is widely used in the production of polycarbonate plastic containers for food use, such as clear single use and multiple use drinks bottles. BPA is also used in the internal coatings of some food and beverage...

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January 2019

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

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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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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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What’s new

The original Dietary Fibre (DF), Information Statement has been unavailable for some time and this version contains new material on the agreed international definition of Dietary Fibre, a synopsis of the 2015 SACN report on ‘Carbohydrates and Health’ as it...

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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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Interim update of September 2015 version, dated December 2018  

Food allergens are part of a wider problem of a variety of adverse reactions to foods, which can result from microbial and chemical food poisoning, psychological aversions and specific non-allergenic...

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February 2019

This is a fundamental re-write of the IFST’s “Food authenticity testing” Information Statement. It has been split into two parts. This statement now covers the role of analytical testing within the context of an overall supply chain assurance strategy. It...

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This is the second of two IFST Information Statements that replace the previous “Food authenticity testing” statement. It should be read in conjunction with “Food authenticity testing part 1: The role of...

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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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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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February 2018 

Viral infections are the leading cause of gastroenteritis globally and in Europe and may also cause enterically transmitted hepatitis and illness after migrating from the human intestine to other organs. Various viruses have been implicated in foodborne...

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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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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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December 2017

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...

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October 2018

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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January 2019

Nanoscience and nanotechnology are about understanding and exploiting materials at the atomic and molecular level. Materials at the nanoscale have been shown to have markedly different properties to those at the macroscale, which means that nanomaterials...

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December 2017 

Oils and fats form an important part of a healthy diet.  Structurally they are esters of glycerol with three fatty acids (called either triacylglycerols or triglycerides).  It is these fatty acids that give the functionality to fats.  Chemically, they can...

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July 2018

In this information statement we will take a look at the current EU rules relating to organic food. We then move on to look at organic food from the customer perspective covering the rules on labelling, concluding with a few notes on where to begin if you are a...

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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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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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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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February 2019

Leaves of the stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoni) are the source of steviol glycosides, a group of high-potency, zero-calorie sweeteners. Permitted as sweeteners in the EU since December 2011, steviol glycosides offer an opportunity to reduce...

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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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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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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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