EU Science Hub

Science updates

Hydrophobicity of nanoparticles
Dec 14 2018

JRC scientists developed a quantitative method for measuring the surface energy and hydrophobicity of nanomaterials, as the knowledge about hydrophobicity is important when assessing potential risks of chemicals.

Hydrophobicity is an important parameter to determine for the risk assessment of chemicals and in particular of nanomaterials.


Because hydrophobicity plays a critical role in various biological processes such as:

Advancing the safety of plastic kitchenware
Jul 02 2018

Scientists of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) developed an analytical method for the quantification of fluorescent whitening agents which may migrate from plastic cups into beverages. This work supports the implementation of legislation on food packaging materials.

In the production of plastic kitchenware such as beverage cups, for which optical transparency and clarity are the desired properties, fluorescent whitening agents (FWAs) are used to improve the whiteness and brightness characteristics of the materials. 

Jan 18 2017
The EC-JRC released a EU wide review at national and sectorial level on food contact materials (FCMs) for which there are no specific measures at EU level. The study reveals a number of shortcomings for these sectors with variations in for example national risk assessment approaches, their risk management and their controls. This baseline study provides insight in the possible safety and trade impact of the current regulatory scheme and indicates where improvements are needed, thus serving as a reference for potential policy options.
Dec 02 2015

In a collaborative project, JRC scientists contributed to the development and validation of a method for the determination of silver nanoparticles in chicken meat; thus demonstrating the possibilities and challenges of measuring nanoparticles in food.

Dec 01 2015

In a joint project with researchers from the University of Vienna (Austria) and the Technical University of Denmark, JRC scientists developed a suitable analytical approach for the detection of silicon dioxide (silica) nanoparticles in tomato soup. This method not only has the potential to monitor the fate of nanoparticles during food production but could also be used by food authorities and laboratories for control purposes.

May 19 2014

Recent activities of the JRC hosted European Reference Laboratory for Heavy Metals (EURL-HM) had an impact on the amendment of legislation concerning cadmium in food.  The EURL-HM work facilitated lowering maximum levels for baby food and supports Member States in their goal to reduce the presence of cadmium in food products.

Apr 15 2013
The JRC has optimised a fit-for-purpose analytical method for the determination of 16 phthalates in wine and spirits.