Dataset Open Access

European database of processing factors for pesticides in food

Rebekka Scholz; Gerda van Donkersgoed; Michael Herrmann; Arno Kittelmann; Maria von Schledorn; Coen Graven; Karin Mahieu; Trijntje van der Velde-Koerts; Chris Anagnostopoulos; Eleftheria Bempelou; Britta Michalski

EFSA is conducting pan-European dietary exposure and risk assessments related to actual levels of pesticide residues in food commodities. These assessments use the pesticide occurrence data generated under the official monitoring programs of Member States, the consumption data from EFSA’s comprehensive food consumption database and pesticide-specific information such as processing factors. Currently no harmonised list of processing factors is available within Europe and worldwide. The overall objective of this project is to develop a database of validated processing factors, which is compatible with the EFSA food classification and description system FoodEx 2.

In the first part of the project, a compendium of representative processing techniques was elaborated which serves as a standard description of all relevant processes and as a basis for validation of processing studies. In the second part of the project all relevant processes and raw and processed
commodities were coded according to FoodEx2. In the third and last part of the project all processing studies used by EFSA in their Conclusions and Reasoned Opinions issued until 30/06/2016 were reevaluated according to uniform quality criteria and reported in a database. The database is provided
as a flat Excel spreadsheet. Information on processing conditions, on analytical methods, storage stability and GLP was collected from the studies and was used to judge the acceptability of each processing study. The representativeness of the processing conditions applied in the studies was
judged by comparing them to the compendium of representative processing techniques. Processing factors (PF) were derived from the studies according to comprehensible calculation rules and based on the residue definitions for monitoring. The individual PF were judged for their acceptability. For each
commodity/process/active substance combination a median PF was calculated from the individual ones, based on the trials from one or more studies. The database is a ready-to-use inventory of PF for pesticides in a variety of processed food items.

In a pilot project a second database was set up with processing factors based on the residue definition for dietary risk assessment. Extension of this database is recommended. 

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