Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No.2, March 1999

1999, Vol. 21
No. 2 (March)
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Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No. 2

March 1999

New Books and Publications

New Publications from ILSI Europe

Recycling of Plastics for Food Contact Use

As more packaging options are proposed for food and beverage products, the opportunities to reuse materials, especially plastics, for these purposes are growing as well. The quality and safety aspects of recycling technologies thus need to be carefully examined for the major polymer types. Plastics recycling technology for food purposes clearly must remove potential chemical contaminants to an acceptable level of safety that addresses public health concerns. With this in mind, the ILSI Europe Packaging Material Task Force convened a workshop in London (UK) in March 1997 to examine the scientific database on the safe recycling of plastics for food contact use. The discussions of the experts participating in the workshop and subsequent meetings to produce guidelines and recommendations on the subject appear in a new publication in the ILSI Europe Report Series. It covers recycling operations, feedstock for recycling, challenge tests and surrogates, as well as migration test conditions and limits.

All ILSI Europe publications are available upon written request (E-mail:

Functional Food Science in Europe

In response to concerns from the scientific community worldwide about recent developments in the understanding of the functional food concept, ILSI Europe elaborated, in 1995, a project proposal for a European Commission Concerted Action aimed at establishing a science-based approach for the concept. The goal of this concerted action was to establish a multidisciplinary European network to (1) critically assess the science base required to provide evidence that specific nutrients positively affect physiological functions, (2) examine the available science from a function-driven rather than a nutrient-driven point of view, and (3) reach a consensus on targeted modifications of food and food constituents and options for their application.

To attain these objectives, a First Plenary Meeting was organized in 1996 in Nice (France) to assess the state of the science. Based on the results of this meeting, six areas in human physiology were identified: development, growth, and differentiation; substrate metabolism (including metabolic aspects of physical activity); defense against reactive oxidative species; cardiovascular system; gastrointestinal physiology and functions; and behavioral and psychological functions. Individual Theme Groups (ITGs) composed of industry and nonindustry scientists were established to produce theme papers that would critically review the science base of the functional food concept in each area. The exercise focused on characterizing specific body systems, assessing methodologies, identifying nutritional options to modulate functions, evaluating potential safety implications, examining the role of technology, critically assessing the required science base, and suggesting areas where further research is needed. The resulting documents were scrutinized in a Second Plenary Meeting in 1997, in Helsinki (Finland), and have now been published as a supplement to the British Journal of Nutrition.

All ILSI Europe publications are available upon written request (E-mail:

Food Safety Management Tools

Throughout the world, food manufacturing, distribution, and retailing is becoming a highly complex business. Raw materials are traded on a global scale, an ever-increasing number of processing technologies are used, and a vast array of products are available to the consumer.

Such a complexity necessitates the development of comprehensive control procedures to ensure the production of safe, high-quality food.

Despite progress in medicine, food science, and the technology of food production, illness caused by foodborne pathogens continues to present a major problem of both health and economic significance. A new report describes several tools to use in an integrated approach to the management of food safety, such as elements of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), the importance of applying HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) within a GMP framework, and a quality management system as a means of effectively managing total product quality. Although the primary focus of this report is microbiological issues, the general principles addressed are applicable to the management of chemical and physical contaminants as well.

This publication, in the ILSI Europe Report Series, was undertaken under the auspices of the ILSI Europe Risk Analysis in Microbiology Task Force.

All ILSI Europe publications are available upon written request (E-mail:

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