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Genotoxic Consequences of Exposure to Mixtures of Food-Derived Chemical Carcinogens

Imperial College - London
Start date
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This study aims to examine the biological response to mixtures of three genotoxic chemicals found in cooked food, namely:
  • Acrylamide - A chemical formed when foods, such as potatoes and cereals, are cooked at temperatures exceeding 100ºC
  • Benzo[a]pyrene - A polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon generated by incomplete combustion of organic substances such as fats
  • PhIP - A genotoxic heterocyclic amine that is formed during the cooking of meat
The overlapping toxicology of these chemicals makes them excellent candidates for a study of this nature.

The project will examine the toxicity of the chemicals, individually and in combination, over a large dose range that encompasses human-relevant exposure, using in vitro cell-based systems to establish the nature of any biological response. The study will provide a huge number of experimental variables, so a statistical experimental design will be used to rationalise the number of experiments required. One benefit of this approach is the potential to extend the analysis to include further chemicals of interest, as the mathematical basis of the analysis can be adapted to include any number of additional chemicals.

More information

In 2004 the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment (COT) recommended research should be undertaken on mixtures of food contaminants and additives. More recently, the 2007 T01/T05/T09 research programme review panel recommended that further work on mixtures of chemicals should focus on multiple genotoxic compounds operating by similar or dissimilar mechanisms.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project source
View this project
Project number
FS231017 (T01052)
Bacterial Pathogens
Natural Toxins