Application of the BRAFO tiered approach for benefit-risk assessment to case studies on heat processing contaminants

Katrin Schütte, Heiner Boeing, Andy Hart, Walther Heeschen, Ernst H. Reimerdes, Dace Santare, Kerstin Skog, Alessandro Chiodini (Coresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the European Funded Project BRAFO (benefit-risk analysis of foods) project was to develop a framework that allows quantitative comparison of human health risks and benefits of foods based on a common scale of measurement. This publication describes the application of the BRAFO methodology to three different case studies: the formation of acrylamide in potato and cereal based products, the formation of benzo(a)pyrene through smoking and grilling of meat and fish and the heat-treatment of milk. Reference, alternative scenario and target population represented the basic structure to test the tiers of the framework.Various intervention methods intended to reduce acrylamide in potato and cereal products were evaluated against the historical production methods. In conclusion the benefits of the acrylamide-reducing measures were considered prevailing.For benzo(a)pyrene, three illustrated alternative scenarios were evaluated against the most common smoking practice. The alternative scenarios were assessed as delivering benefits, introducing only minimal potential risks.Similar considerations were made for heat treatment of milk where the comparison of the microbiological effects of heat treatment, physico-chemical changes of milk constituents with positive and negative health effects was assessed. In general, based on data available, benefits of the heat treatment were outweighing any risks.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S724-S735
JournalFood and Chemical Toxicology
Issue numberS4
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Acrylamide
  • Benefit-risk assessment
  • Heat processing
  • Milk
  • PAH
  • Tiered approach

Field of Science*

  • 4.5 Other agricultural sciences
  • 3.3 Health sciences
  • 3.1 Basic medicine

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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