Instituto Nacional de Saúde Dr. Ricardo Jorge
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 Toxicology

 

Food Toxicology is the branch of toxicology that studies the nature, origin and the formation of toxic compounds in foodstuffs, its potential harmful effects on health, symptoms and mechanisms of action allowing providing information to the establishment of the safety limits for its consumption.  Its aims is to understand the nature and properties of toxic food contaminants and its harmfulness.

DAN have been collaborating with other INSA departments, Universities (link CESAM) and food industries to perform multidisciplinary studies related to the toxicity of chemical food contaminants naturally occurring in foodstuffs and its potential human health implications .

The total amount of an ingested contaminant not always reflect the quantity that is bioavailable to exert its toxic effect in the organism. In order to determine the bioavailability of food contaminants present in foodstuffs DAN have been developing and applying in vitro methodologies that simulate the digestive process and the intestinal absorption using tissue cultures.

Recently DAN had integrated an european network developing studies on the disintegration of foodstuffs during the digestion process.