We are doing science for policy
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) is the European Commission's science and knowledge service which employs scientists to carry out research in order to provide independent scientific advice and support to EU policy.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.