Master in Food Quality and Health

Food Toxicology



Learning outcomes

1. To contribute to distinguish between the scientific or semi-scientific approaches and arguments related with Food Toxicology
2. Explain the basic principles and concepts of Toxicology applied to several aspects of Food Toxicology
3. Identify and discuss issues related with the presence and management of food toxicology and chemicals potentially toxic in food or food ingredients.
4. Explain why it is not possible to obtain the absolute safety of food
5. To understand the problems/difficulties that affects the science of Toxicology, and how it reflects in the public´s attitude and on the national policy of food safety
All these objectives are inserted in the scope of the discipline of Food Toxicology


Introduction and aim of UC. Nature and complexity of food. Nutritional factors and toxic potential. Gastrointestinal tract and toxicity. Food safety and toxicology.
Regulation. Threshold levels of contaminants, additives and residues in food. Definition of ADI, TDI and PTWI. Effects from exposure to toxic agents: neurotoxic, carcinogenic, endocrine disruptors, food allergies and neurodevelopment effects.
Risk, food exposure and health.
1 - Biological risk: Bacteria, fungus, virus, parasites.
2 - Chemical risk: Food additives. Pesticides food residues. Drug veterinary residues. Maximum residues levels. Organic contaminants (dioxins, PCBs, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic aromatic amines). Inorganic contaminants (metals, nitrates and nitrites). Food packaging migration substances. Toxicity of nanomaterials in food.
3 - Physical risk: Radioactive contaminants
4 - Natural food toxins: Mycotoxins, ficotoxins, mushroom toxins
Children and food safety risk.