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Challenges in the control of food quality and safety

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Kirsten BrandtORCiD



For historical reasons, our control of food quality and safety focuses on contaminants including pathogens and toxins with well-known detrimental effects on human health, as well as reductions of nutrient contents compared with standard for the type of food. This has been very successful, so today most traditional serious safety risks are almost eliminated, the risk of introducing new hazards is rigorously controlled and nutrient deficiencies are very rare. However, even though uncontaminated and plentiful food is now available to almost everyone in our developed societies, food quality still affects our health, but in ways that are more subtle and complex than the old ones based on pathogens, toxins and nutrients. The old picture of the effect of food on health is not just inaccurate; the benefits or risks to health we observe in modern populations from diets with different balances of food types are very often directly at odds with what we would predict from our traditional understanding of the quality and safety of these foods. So it is becoming increasingly clear that some of the fundamental principles and assumptions behind our management of food quality and safety are likely to be revised during the next few years. This may lead to substantial changes in concepts and procedures throughout the food chain, however, it is certain to result in better food for the consumers. © 2008. Research Information Ltd. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Brandt K

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Outlooks on Pest Management

Year: 2008

Volume: 19

Issue: 1

Pages: 34-38

ISSN (print): 1743-1026

ISSN (electronic): 1743-1034

Publisher: Research Information Ltd.


DOI: 10.1564/19feb10