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Ann Ist Super Sanita. 2006;42(4):427-32.

Assessment of feed additives and contaminants: an essential component of food safety.

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Dipartimento di Sanità Alimentare ed Animale, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Viale Regina Elena 299, 00161 Rome, Italy.


Feed additives make the bulk of chemicals used in animal production, thus representing a major issue for safety of foods of animal origin. This paper summarizes the approaches adopted by the European Food Safety Authority to perform risk analysis of feed additives as regards the whole food production chain, including target species, consumers, occupational exposure and the environment. Feed safety must consider also environmental contaminants; in particular feeds can be a major vehicle for human dietary intake of persistent pollutants such as polychlorinated biphenyls. Critical issues include toxicological characterization, pathways of feed contamination as well as transfer to animal products. The possible effects of feed additives and contaminants on the overall safety and nutritional quality of human diet are discussed.

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