The National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, produces, maintains and disseminates the scientific basis for ensuring that the food we eat is safe and that food safety is an essential element in the production of food through the entire chain – from primary production to the consumer’s table.
Food safety includes assessment of all aspects of diet-related health risks, whether they are chemical components in food, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or the microorganisms that may occur in food.
Food chemistry and toxicology
Chemical food safety includes measuring the content of undesirable substances in food and the toxicological evaluation of their effects in humans. These substances include environmental contaminants, naturally occurring toxins, residual substances formed during food production and other unwanted substances.
By combining the knowledge of our intake of various foods and data on levels of chemical compounds in these foods with the knowledge of the effects of the substances, we can assess the potential human risk of the individual food product, the combinations of chemical compounds and the total diet.
The activities are performed as both research and in advisory services to Danish and international authorities based on a comprehensive toxicological and analytical infrastructure together with various databases and models.
The microbiology area includes research, advisory services to Danish and international authorities, monitoring and risk assessment of, e.g., foodborne pathogens including zoonotic bacteria, antibiotic resistance and drug use, food borne virus and applied microorganisms such as starter cultures and bio preserving microorganisms.
The National Food Institute contributes to the continuous coordinated monitoring of microbiological health hazards, particularly in order to reveal the transmission routes and sources of infection, development of control measures and to conduct ongoing risk assessments. Diagnostics, reference laboratory and methodologies development are essential parts in this preparedness system.
Read more about our areas of research and advisory services with in food safety:
Diet and cancer
Dietary supplements and fortification
Global spread of foodborne pathogens
QSAR and cell models
Head of Division Jørn Smedsgaard (food chemistry)
Head of Division Dorte Lau Baggesen (food microbiology)
Head of Division Christine Lydia Nellemann (toxicology)