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Food Quality and Safety in Europe



Good nutrition and a balanced diet are important health goals. Simply eating the right food can open the door to a better and healthier way of living. It is, therefore, important for us to understand the benefits of good food choices.

Food can be risky. Even healthy food can have an adverse effect on our well-being. Recent crises have proven that risks related to food must be dealt with in a responsible and sophisticated way. The strategy driving the Beneris project has these food safety issues in mind. Not only does it aspire to stimulate awareness of the health benefits of food in a clear and transparent way, but also to get to the core of the risks of the food we eat every day.


The bold objective of the project is to forge major advancements in food benefit/risk analysis on human health. As such, the project requires highly interdisciplinary work with a range of professionals. Beneris brings together a team representing eight authority, research, and communication bodies from five European countries with the necessary expertise, as well as crucial access to contacts and data. Importantly, the project's end-users (such as policymakers) are involved from the outset to facilitate greater collaboration, and to ensure the work has relevance to both science and society.

The Beneris team adapts existing benefit/risk analysis tools and assesses existing scientific evidence. In the development of the project's framework methodology, the team is responsible for identifying the systems needed, as well as for creating and using these new systems. One of the developed methods estimates the health effects of food contaminants and nutrients by integrating two sets of data. The Beneris project also breaks new ground in the development of specialised methodological tools.


In addition to developing these comprehensive methods for analysis, the project is further divided into two other areas. A major focus of Beneris is the diverse range of real-life case studies that will be conducted. One of the studies looks at the beneficial and harmful effects of nutrients and pollutants in fish. Another focuses on vegetables in the diet of a specific age group. The dissemination of results, and particularly the development of new methods of handling and distributing the information, is also a significant part of the project. One system ensures that results can be accessed more effectively using a new Internet interface.

Beneris forms a cluster with the Qalibra project. Although both projects have the same overall aim to improve the analysis of benefits and risks of foods, their areas of focus are very different. Beneris' objective is to develop new approaches for analysis, while Qalibra is charged with developing a practical computer tool for risk assessors. The complementary projects run separately, but with key milestones in their respective strategies for joint meetings and collaborative activities.

List of Partners

  • National Public Health Institute, KTL (Finland)
  • Delft University of Technology, TUDelft (The Netherlands)
  • Oy Foodfiles-FFiles (Finland)
  • Food Safety Authority of Ireland-FSAI (Ireland)
  • Food Research Institute of Denmark (Denmark)
  • Food Safety Authority of Denmark-FVST (Denmark)
  • Lendac Lendac (Ireland)
  • Fundación Privada para la Investigación Nutricional, FIN (Spain)
Full title:
Benefit-risk assessment for food: an iterative value-ofinformation approach
Contract n°:
Project co-ordinator:
Jouni Tuomisto, Kansanterveyslaitos (KTL) - National Public Health Institute,
EC Scientific Officer:
Maria Spulber,
EU contribution:
€ 1.1M
Specific Targeted Research Project

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Last update: 06 December 2007 | Top