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Food supplements

Food supplements

CONTEXT :

Nowadays, our food chain is becoming more and more complex and consumers' habits are subject to deep changes. In these circumstances, functional food (novel food) enriched, for example, with phytosterols or omega-3 fatty acids as well as food supplements (vitamins, amino acids, anti-oxidants, trace elements, etc.) turn out to be more important. These products are somewhere between food and medicine.

 

The changes they involve in terms of food habits are not trivial since they can lead the consumer to a clearly higher exposure to some biologically active compounds and/or associated contaminants (trace elements, natural toxins).

ROLE OF CODA-CERVA :

With its expertise in the field of some toxins (phytotoxins, mycotoxins) and trace elements analysis, CODA-CERVA takes part in research projects directed to these issues and provides services. Besides, CODA-CERVA also contributes to risk assessment and consumers' awareness surveys.

ANALYSIS OF ALKALOIDS FOUND IN MACA-BASED FOOD SUPPLEMENTS :

Maca is a plant of the Brassicacae family which grows in the Andes and its roots are traditionally used by the Indians for bringing health and strength. The assumed aphrodisiac effects of this plant also gave it the name of ‘the Andes Ginseng'. Maca-based food supplements are increasingly consumed in developed countries and several brands are available in Belgium. This product may have negative effects on health since it contains a number of alkaloids, some of which are being analysed at CODA-CERVA as part of research projects and for provison of services. Food supplements

For more information about the effects on health: http://www.afssa.fr/Documents/NUT2008sa0011.pdf

 

For more information on the analyses carried out at CODA-CERVA : see Alkaloids.

 

ANALYSIS OF TRACE ELEMENTS IN VARIOUS FOOD SUPPLEMENTS :

Eighteen trace elements have been determined in 62 food supplements from 6 different groups (Ginkgo biloba, St. John's wort, soybean, garlic, maca, and black radish).

 

Heavy metal (cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb)) levels higher than the standards in force have been detected in 12 cases both in products notified in Belgium and in non-notified products sold on the Internet. The Federal Agency for the Security of the Food Chain (FASFC) has been notified of such high levels and measures have been taken to protect consumers.

INQUIRY ON CONSUMERS' PERCEPTION OF FOOD SUPPLEMENTS :

Under the FOODINTER project (phase 1), two inquiries have been carried out in the North and in the South of the country by project partners, among which CODA-CERVA, in order to better understand the knowledge and perception of consumers with regard to such products. ‘Focus groups' have further been set up with consumer panels and/or food supplement manufacturers in order to know more about their attitude facing this issue and to identify more accurately communication failures.

TEAM OF SCIENTISTS :

Alfons Callebaut

 

CODA-CERVA PUBLICATIONS :

2010

-Njumbe Ediage E., Diana Di Mavungu J., Scippo M.L., Schneider Y.J., Larondelle Y., Callebaut A., Robbens J., Van Peteghem C., De Saeger S.. Screening, Identification and Quantification of glucosinolates in black radish (Raphanus sativus L. niger) based dietary supplements using HPLC-PDA and LC-MS/MS (Submitted in Journal of Chromatography A)

-Ribonnet L., Callebaut A., Nobels I., Scippo M.-L., Schneider Y.-J., De Saeger S., Pussemier L. and Larondelle Y. (2011). Modulation of CYP1A1 activity at the intestinal level by a Ginkgo biloba extract: an in vitro evaluation. Toxicology Letters (in press).

2009

- Danyi S, Brose F, Brasseur C, Schneider Y-J, Larondelle Y, Pussemier L, Robbens J, De Saeger S, Maghuin-Rogister G, Scippo M-L (2009), Analysis of EU priority polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in food supplements using high performance liquid chromatography coupled to an ultraviolet, diode array or fluorescence detector, Analytica Chimica Acta 633 (2008) 293-299
- DI MAVUNGU J D, MONBALIU S, MAGHUIN-ROGISTER G, SCIPPO M-L, SCHNEIDER Y-J, LARONDELLE Y, CALLEBAUT A, ROBBENS J, VAN PETEGHEM C & DE SAEGER S (2009). LC-MS/MS multi-analyte method for mycotoxin analysis in food supplements, Food Additives and Contaminants , 26 (6) : 885-895

2008

- Sergent T, Ribonnet L, Kolosova A, Garsou S, Schaut A, De Saeger A, Van Peteghem C, Larondelle Y, Pussemier L., Schneider YJ (2008), "Molecular and cellular effects of food contaminants and secondary plant components and their plausible interactions at the intestinal level", Food Chemical Toxicology, 46, 813-841