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Food and nutrition

Food is central to our daily lives. When it is safe and nutritious, it is a powerful ally for our health. However, an imbalanced diet or contaminated food can expose us to immediate risks or chronic diseases. ANSES provides scientific expertise at all stages of the food chain, from the production of foods of animal or plant origin through to the consumer's plate. It assesses the risks associated with the contamination of food by pathogens and toxic substances. It also assesses nutritional quality, and the risks of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour.

News

ANSES supports the Université Côte d'Azur in promoting physical activity for health – 31 August to 2 September 2022
31/08/2022

31 août au 2 septembre 2022

ANSES supports the Université Côte d'Azur in promoting physical activity for health – 31 August to 2 September 2022

Public :
Palais de la Méditerranée à Nice
In partnership with ANSES, the Université Côte d'Azur is pleased to invite you to the 17th annual meeting and 11th conference of HEPA Europe. The conference is organised jointly with WHO/Europe, in partnership with the City of Nice and the French Public Health Society (SFSP). This year's HEPA Europe conference will focus on "An ecosystem-based approach to promoting health-enhancing physical activity". The conference themes cover a wide range of issues including policy, active transportation, sport, determinants of physical activity, results for health, sedentary behaviour and many others. The aim of the conference is to engage policy makers, professionals, scientists and other stakeholders, as well as citizens, in the promotion of health-enhancing physical activity. The conference will be an opportunity to target and connect these different groups. The Nice meeting is a unique opportunity to meet with experts and influencers face-to-face; to network, mix and mingle; to learn from leaders in the field and to keep abreast of scientific, practical and policy developments in Europe and beyond. The event includes plenary conferences, concurrent discussion sessions, poster sessions and symposia. It will also include the annual meeting of HEPA Europe and concurrent sessions by most of its working groups. The conference has existed since 2005 and will be held for the first time in France, at the Palais de la Méditerranée in Nice, from 31 August to 2 September 2022.
Raw-milk cheeses: What are the associated health risks and what preventive measures can be taken?
08/04/2022

Raw-milk cheeses: What are the associated health risks and what preventive measures can be taken?

Salmonella, enterohaemorrhagic E. coli, Listeria monocytogenes – a wide range of bacteria can be found in the raw-milk cheeses and other raw-milk dairy products we consume. These are sometimes involved in cases of food poisoning, leading them to be recalled or withdrawn from the market. In order to further improve the control of these risks, ANSES has identified the types of raw-milk cheeses on which efforts should focus as a priority.
Beware of confusion between autumn crocus and wild garlic
05/03/2022

Beware of confusion between autumn crocus and wild garlic

When out foraging, people sometimes confuse toxic wild plants with edible ones. Mistaking autumn crocus for wild garlic can cause serious or even fatal poisoning. Follow our advice to ensure safe picking.
How to reduce mercury exposure from fish consumption - Portrait of PhD student Mariana Mendes Ribeiro
18/02/2022
Laboratory for Food Safety

How to reduce mercury exposure from fish consumption - Portrait of PhD student Mariana Mendes Ribeiro

Every year, ANSES organises discussion meetings on ongoing and recently completed research work, in order to encourage interactions between scientific teams. At these meetings, the PhD students hosted at the Agency present their theses. Mariana Mendes Ribeiro won the award for “best oral presentation by an ANSES doctoral student in 2021”, for her 180-second thesis presentation. Discover her background and research work.
ANSES at the 2022 Paris International Agricultural Show
26/02/2022

From 26/02/2022 to 06/03/2022

ANSES at the 2022 Paris International Agricultural Show

Tous les jours de 9h à 19h
Parc des expositions - Porte de Versailles, Paris - Hall 4, Allée B, stand n°118
Public : oui
Porte de Versailles, Paris 15e
Food is one of the pillars of our health. And yet an imbalanced diet or contaminated food can expose us to immediate risks and chronic diseases. As France's leading health agency on this topic, ANSES looks forward to seeing you at the 2022 Paris International Agricultural Show, at its stand dedicated to safe and healthy food. You will have the opportunity to discover how ANSES’s researchers and scientific experts work to protect us from risks ‘from farm to fork’, and help us adopt good daily hygiene and nutrition practices.
Lack of physical activity and overly sedentary lifestyles: public health priorities
15/12/2021
News

Lack of physical activity and overly sedentary lifestyles: public health priorities

Ninety-five percent of the adult population in France is exposed to a risk of deteriorated health because they do not get enough exercise or spend too much time sitting. These risks are increased when lack of physical activity is combined with an overly sedentary lifestyle. Some population groups are more exposed than others. ANSES considers that promoting lifestyle behaviours that encourage exercise and combat physical inactivity should be a priority for the public authorities.
ANSES provides support for testing a weekly vegetarian menu in schools
25/11/2021
News

ANSES provides support for testing a weekly vegetarian menu in schools

The French EGAlim Act established a two-year trial to introduce a weekly vegetarian menu in school canteens. ANSES was asked by the Directorate General for Health and the Directorate General for Food to provide its scientific support twice in the context of implementing the trial.
Bulk selling: recommendations and products to be excluded
22/11/2021
News

Bulk selling: recommendations and products to be excluded

How can distributors guarantee the safety of products sold to consumers in bulk? Can all products be sold this way? With bulk selling becoming increasingly popular, driven by social demand as well as by the legislator through the French AGEC Act, ANSES has been asked by the Directorate General for fair Trading, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) to give its opinion regarding products that may not be sold in this way for public health reasons. To continue to effectively protect consumer health, it is important for distributors to apply appropriate procedures to bulk selling.
Initial literature review on the possible hazards of asbestos ingestion
10/11/2021
News

Initial literature review on the possible hazards of asbestos ingestion

Certain drinking water pipes are made of asbestos cement. Under some circumstances, therefore, asbestos fibres can be found in drinking water. ANSES has conducted an initial review of the scientific literature to characterise the hazards associated with asbestos ingestion. Before it was banned in France in 1997, when respiratory exposure was found to be hazardous to humans, asbestos was used in a variety of sectors, particularly in construction. In fact, 4% of the French public drinking water supply network still consists of asbestos cement. " The risk of asbestos fibres being released into the water supply remains low when the pipes have been installed in stable non-aggressive soil, and when the water carried by these pipes contains calcium, because the build-up of scale protects the pipe . However, risks from the presence of asbestos in drinking water cannot be ruled out in the case of badly deteriorated pipes ," say scientists from ANSES's Water Risk Assessment Unit. As people are mainly exposed to asbestos by air, studies on the health risks of asbestos have, until now, mainly focused on this source of exposure. The last baseline analysis conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2012 on the links between asbestos and the occurrence of cancer did not explicitly address the hazards associated with ingestion. The expert appraisal was prompted by two alarmist studies, which nevertheless had limitations Two studies by an Italian research team, published in 2016 and 2017, had concluded that the health risks associated with asbestos ingestion, mainly through the daily consumption of drinking water, may be underestimated. In its scientific and technical analysis note published in 2017, ANSES observed that these two studies were not sufficiently robust: they had not assessed the quality of the publications on which they had based their conclusions and had not taken into account all the scientific publications available on the subject. The Agency was therefore asked to characterise the hazards of asbestos by ingestion, by conducting a systematic review of the scientific literature . Not enough evidence to rule on a causal relationship In order to study the health hazards of asbestos ingestion, in particular concerning the development of digestive cancers (oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, liver, etc.), the Agency conducted a comprehensive review of current knowledge on this subject. Of the 4409 human and 1107 animal studies on the effects of asbestos, the experts identified 17 studies examining asbestos ingestion in the general population, 19 examining asbestos ingestion in animals and 41 examining occupational exposure to asbestos. The working group conducted a standardised assessment of these studies to determine the levels of evidence that could be used to characterise the plausibility of a link between asbestos exposure and the occurrence of digestive cancers. This assessment led the experts to conclude that the levels of evidence were "inadequate", i.e. the data published to date cannot be used to rule on the possibility or absence of an association between asbestos ingestion and digestive cancers. " Most of the existing studies are old or have methodological limitations that mean they are unable to demonstrate a causal link between asbestos ingestion and the occurrence of these cancers ," explain the experts of the working group. Signals for some cancers but no certainty However, the existence of signals suggesting the possibility of an association between asbestos ingestion and three specific digestive cancers was highlighted. These are cancers of the oesophagus, stomach and colon. This possibility is supported by epidemiological studies conducted in occupational settings that report more cases of these cancers in workers exposed to asbestos than in the general population. This is because a fraction of the asbestos inhaled by workers can be swallowed and pass directly into the digestive tract. However, the data do not enable a reliable estimate of the extent of this fraction compared with that reaching these organs via the respiratory route, through the lungs and the bloodstream, and mean that these results cannot be extrapolated to exposure by ingestion. Surveillance campaigns recommended Given the past use of asbestos in certain pipes, the Agency recommends conducting targeted campaigns to detect the presence of possible asbestos fibres in drinking water liable to contain them. These data could then be used for future studies or epidemiological surveillance work. The Agency also recommends monitoring the condition of asbestos cement pipes to ensure that they are renovated or replaced in the event of damage.
Marco project: six years of marine research in Côte d’Opale
13/10/2021
News
Laboratory for Food Safety

Marco project: six years of marine research in Côte d’Opale

After six years, the Marco project (Marine and coastal research in Côte d’Opale: from environments to resources, uses and the quality of aquatic products) is coming to an end. In honour of this occasion, its five partner agencies are holding a conference from 13 to 15 October in Boulogne-sur-Mer. Below is an overview of the themes of this project, to which ANSES contributed with regard to the quality of seafood products, in particular by studying microplastics and their impact on them.
A specific health risk assessment guide for nanomaterials in food
11/10/2021
News

A specific health risk assessment guide for nanomaterials in food

Nanomaterials are increasingly being used in our food, mainly to improve a product's appearance, packaging or nutritional content. However, their potential health impacts are raising many questions. This is especially true of titanium dioxide used as a food additive (E171), whose safety has been questioned by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and which is in the process of being banned in the European Union with effect from 2022. To assess the risks posed by nanomaterials in food, a "nanospecific" assessment method is essential. This is the purpose of the scientific guide published by the Agency today.
Vitamin D: opt for medicines to avoid overdosing infants
22/09/2021
News

Vitamin D: opt for medicines to avoid overdosing infants

Three cases of vitamin D overdose have recently been reported in infants as a result of taking food supplements. Too much vitamin D can have serious, life-threatening consequences on the health of young children. To limit risks, we would like to reiterate our recommendations on the vitamin D supplementation of infants.

Decryption

Salmonellosis and how you can prevent it
22/03/2022

Salmonellosis and how you can prevent it

Infections by Salmonella bacteria are the second most common cause of foodborne illnesses in Europe. Salmonella infections cause occasionally acute gastroenteritis, but can be more severe in certain susceptible populations. This article provides an overview of the disease and the ways to prevent it.
Pesticides in drinking water: how does ANSES contribute to protecting consumer health?
02/03/2022

Pesticides in drinking water: how does ANSES contribute to protecting consumer health?

As they disperse in our environment, pesticides can be transformed into one or more other compounds called "metabolites". The active substances of pesticides and their metabolites are therefore liable to contaminate water resources and end up in drinking water (DW). ANSES supports the authorities in managing situations where the regulatory limits are exceeded, in order to guarantee consumer health. It has also designed a method for identifying which pesticide metabolites warrant priority attention, with regard to the health issues associated with drinking water consumption.
Vitamin D: why do I need an adequate intake and how can I make sure I get it ?
02/03/2022

Vitamin D: why do I need an adequate intake and how can I make sure I get it ?

Vitamin D plays a key role in maintaining bone and muscle tissue and boosting our immune system. However, most French people do not get enough. What foods should I eat to ensure an adequate intake? What are the health risks in the event of vitamin D deficiency? Is the consumption of food supplements the answer to preventing deficiency? Do some population groups need more vitamin D than others? Is there a risk in the event of excess intake? ANSES answers all your questions.
Omega-3 fatty acids
02/03/2022

Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of essential fatty acids. They include essential fatty acids that are: necessary for the development and proper functioning of the human body, but that cannotunable to be manufactured by our bodies, and conditionally essential fatty acids, i.e. those necessary for the development and proper functioning of the human body but that can. They can nevertheless be manufactured from their precursor if itthis has been provided by food. Find out about the role of these fatty acids and the foods that contain them.
Fats
02/03/2022

Fats

Fats, oils, lipids, fatty acids, triglycerides, cholesterol -it can be difficult to find your way through all these terms. Discover the meaning of these terms, the role of fats in the body, food sources of fats and ANSES’s recommendations.
COVID-19 research
02/08/2021

COVID-19 research

Working at the interface between human and animal health, in the spirit of "One Health", ANSES's laboratories help provide effective, rapid responses to issues of applied research that can be implemented immediately. As an example, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, ANSES has been deploying its research teams, its expert knowledge of zoonoses and animal coronaviruses, and its network of laboratories to improve our understanding of SARS-CoV-2 and respond to questions that have arisen from this crisis. Here is an overview of the various projects undertaken by the Agency.
All you need to know about food safety
04/06/2021

All you need to know about food safety

What are the potential sources of food contamination? What is a foodborne illness? How can I avoid food poisoning? What is salmonellosis and what does it cause? What does the Agency do to ensure that food is safe? On the occasion of World Food Safety Day, we have prepared a special close-up to help you learn more about the challenges of food safety and our work to make food safer for consumers.
Dietary reference values for vitamins and minerals
07/05/2021

Dietary reference values for vitamins and minerals

The general term "dietary reference value" covers a set of dietary nutrient intake values that vary according to age and gender, and also according to physical activity levels, physiological status (e.g. pregnancy) and eating habits. These dietary reference values are useful to health professionals, particularly nutrition and dietetics specialists, for developing a balanced, varied diet covering the needs of different population groups in good health (infants, children, adolescents, adults, pregnant and breastfeeding women, the elderly), without leading to excess intakes. This article summarises the functions, food sources and dietary reference values available for all vitamins and minerals.
Food safety, from farm to fork
21/04/2021

Food safety, from farm to fork

Milk, meat, vegetables... any of the food we eat can be a source of contamination. Through the transmission of bacteria, parasites, viruses of animal or plant origin, or chemical contaminants, our food can potentially cause illness or poisoning in humans. Food safety forms part of a global "one health" approach, at the interface of animal, plant and human health. To protect consumers from the risks of food contamination and prevent potential outbreaks, it is essential to take action at all stages of the food chain, "from farm to fork". This is ANSES's role.
Ten key points on the interactions between animal and human health
21/04/2021

Ten key points on the interactions between animal and human health

Animal and human health are closely linked. Every year, three to five new human diseases originate in the animal world. A better understanding of the pathogens circulating in animals helps us prepare for future epidemics in humans. The issue is summarised here in a few key concepts to aid understanding.
Humans and animals: One Health
07/04/2021

Humans and animals: One Health

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the close connection between animal and human health. For World Health Day, we decipher the science and shed light on our work to help you better understand these interactions within the frame of the One Health concept which includes animals, humans and the environment.
Use-by date (UBD) and date of minimum durability (DMD)
23/12/2020

Use-by date (UBD) and date of minimum durability (DMD)

Terms such as “Use by”, “Use before” and “Best before” are printed on the packaging of food products. But how are they different? What do UBD and DMD mean? What products do they apply to? Can certain foods be safely eaten after their expiration date? What foods and drinks are imperishable? ANSES answers your most frequently asked questions and provides you with some tips to help you avoid making mistakes.

Publications

Document PDF
Assessment of the physical and chemical risks in foods
Thematique
Food and nutrition
Environmental health
Date de mise en ligne
24/01/2022
Numéro de saisine
2020-SA-0020
Document PDF
Assessment of the physical and chemical risks in foods
Thematique
Food and nutrition
Date de mise en ligne
24/01/2022
Numéro de saisine
2020-SA-0083
Document PDF
Assessment of the physical and chemical risks in foods
Thematique
Food and nutrition
Date de mise en ligne
09/12/2021
Numéro de saisine
2016-SA-0226
Document PDF
Water
Thematique
Food and nutrition
Date de mise en ligne
03/03/2022
Numéro de saisine
2018-SA-0001
Document PDF
Human nutrition
Thematique
Food and nutrition
Date de mise en ligne
09/08/2021
Numéro de saisine
2018-SA-0180