ILSI entities around the world publish articles on original research, literature reviews and gap analyses, as well as meeting proceedings in peer-reviewed journals. Not one of the thousands of studies ILSI has published in peer-reviewed journals over the last 40+ years has ever been retracted. ILSI also publishes books, monographs, white papers, other scientific reports, annual reports and newsletters.
ILSI's flawless scientific publication track record, its commitment to the highest scientific standards and its adherence to rigorous scientific principles demonstrate its scientific integrity.
ILSI's publications are listed below by publication date, from the newest article to the oldest. You can also filter the list by title or publication type.

 

All Publications

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Microbiological Food Safety Task Force

FOOD RELATED CONTAMINANTS

Prevalence of pathogens of concerns for Low Moisture Foods (LMF) is considered through investigation of the reported foodborne outbreaks.

A Processing Environment Monitory programme (PEM) needs to be in place in order to identify points which need to be routinely sampled, search for harbourage niches, and detect and destroy pathogens of concern. These programmes need to be specifically designed considering the specific pathogens and production set up.

However, a monitoring programme on its own is not sufficient and needs to be accompanied by corrective and preventive action plans to ensure efficient application of the Good Hygiene Practices.

A tool for both food producers and regulators

This guidance document is intended to help set up targeted processing environment monitoring programs depending on their purpose, and therefore provide the essential elements needed to improve food safety.

Several food pathogens are of significant concern when planning monitoring programmes for LMF, and are discussed in this document:

  • Salmonella,
  • Cronobacter spp. (posing risk to infants),
  • pathogenic E. coli,
  • B cereus
  • Listeria monocytogenes.
Table 2 from Processing Environment Monitoring in Low Moisture Food Production Facilities. Are we looking for the right microorganisms?

Overview of recalls, withdrawals and safety alerts with microbial pathogens in the EU and US in 2012-2017. EU data were extracted from RASFF (2020) and US data were extracted from FDA (2020).

There is a great interest in the food industry to perform validations in a manner that would be accepted by all parties involved, for example, authorities and customers.

Low moisture foods are foods that:

  • are naturally very low in moisture,
  • have had water removed from them,
  • have a higher moisture content, but that contain agents that prevent the moisture from being available to microorganisms to allow their growth.

In this work, the "production environment" includes production equipment, production surfaces, floors/walls/ceilings, and the air within the production area.

Scientific abstract Expand

Processing environment monitoring is gaining increasing importance in the context of food safety management plans/HACCP programs, since past outbreaks have shown the relevance of the environment as contamination pathway, therefore requiring to ensure the safety of products. However, there are still many open questions and a lack of clarity on how to set up a meaningful program, which would provide early warnings of potential product contamination. Therefore, the current paper aims to summarize and evaluate existing scientific information on outbreaks, relevant pathogens in low moisture foods, and knowledge on indicators, including their contribution to a "clean" environment capable of limiting the spread of pathogens in dry production environments. This paper also outlines the essential elements of a processing environment monitoring program thereby supporting the design and implementation of better programs focusing on the relevant microorganisms. This guidance document is intended to help industry and regulators focus and set up targeted processing environment monitoring programs depending on their purpose, and therefore provide the essential elements needed to improve food safety.

Keywords Expand

critical control points, pathogen, preventive control, recontamination, Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., Cronobacter spp., Enterobacteriaceae, dry foods, food safety, processing, environment Monitoring

Low Moisture Foods are defined as having a water activity of 1 or below. In the EU and USA there were 498 combined alerts for microbial pathogens and LMF. Between 2010 and 2017, EFSA reported 10 salmonellosis outbreaks from LMF alone.

Genetic characterization of isolates provides interesting insights for understanding the difference between resident and sporadic strains in a processing environment.

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Process-Related Compounds and Natural Toxins Task Force

FOOD RELATED CONTAMINANTS

Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons may unintentionally contaminate food through different routes across food chains and the lifecycle of food contact materials.

Gaps in the knowledge about mineral oil hydrocarbons (MON) still exist despite the recent advances in the research field.

A workshop to identify those gaps was organized by the European Branch of the International Life Science Institute.

Some of these were identified to be:

  • the lack of validated and standardized analytical methods for relevant food matrices, and
  • gaps in assessing the risk for consumers' health.

The consensus is that the lack of standardized, validated analytical methods able to assure good inter-laboratory reproducibility is the main gap underlining most of the existing difficulties to understand MOH.

In order to conduct adequate substance identification and quantification for input into risk assessment, the need for confirmatory methods that provide a detailed characterization of the unresolved complex mixtures needs to be solved.

The limited number of surveys covering a wide range of foods and enough samples to detect major sources of contamination other than packaging in paperboard also hinders reliable exposure estimation.

Fig. 4. Decision tree to identify auxilary methods. Adapted from Bratinova & Hoekstra, 2019. ALOX: Al2O3.
Decision tree to identify auxilary methods. (Adapted from Bratinova & Hoekstra, 2019)

Industry sectors represented in the workshop

  • Food & Drink
  • Mineral Oil/Waxes
  • Testing Laboratories
  • Analytical Instruments
  • Food Contact Materials
  • Cosmetics
  • Petroleum
Scientific abstract Expand Background
In recent years there have been significant advancements in the understanding of mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOH) in foods and their potential risk to health. However, important gaps in knowledge remain, such as the lack of validated and standardized analytical methods for relevant food matrices and gaps in assessing the risk for consumers' health. Scope & approach
A workshop was organized by the European Branch of the International Life Science Institute to identify knowledge gaps in analytical methods, assessment of exposure, hazard characterisation, and risk assessment of MOH. This work captures the outcome of the workshop and builds upon it by combining the perspectives of the participants with an updated review of the literature to provide a roadmap for future management of the topic. Key findings and conclusions
Most participants to the workshop agreed that the key issue underlying many of the knowledge gaps in the field of MOH risk analysis and management is the lack of standardized, validated analytical methods able to assure good inter-laboratory reproducibility and to enable understanding of MOH occurrence in foods. It has been demonstrated that method EN 16995 used for MOH determination in vegetable oils and fats is not reliable below 10 mg/kg of food. There is also a need for confirmatory methods that provide a detailed characterization of the unresolved complex mixture observed from one-dimensional chromatographic methods. This is required to enable adequate substance identification and quantification for input into risk assessment. A major gap in the exposure estimation is the limited number of surveys covering a wide range of foods and enough samples to detect major sources of contamination other than packaging in paperboard. Data on concentration of MOH fractions in human body needed to determine internal exposure estimates is scarce. Data relating concentration in tissues with personal data, lifestyle, food intake and the use of cosmetics are needed to clarify the complex system of distribution of MOSH in the body and to possibly establish relationship between external and internal exposure. Additional toxicological studies to better characterize the hazards of relevant MOH are required for a better human health risk assessment. Keywords Expand

Mineral oil hydrocarbon, Risk assessment, Exposure assessment, Food contaminant, MOSH, MOAH

Number of participants in the workshop 61 from Academica, Public organisations, and Industry. EN 16995 used for MOH determination in vegetable oils and fats is not reliable below 10 mg/kg of food. Main indetified gaps in the knowledge of Mineral Oil Hydrocarbons 8

To enable human risk assessment, the performance of toxicological studies on the relevant MOH mixtures and possibly their components is required.

This work was conducted in collaboration with the Packaging Materials Task Force.

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