Page thématique

Food and nutrition

Food is central to our daily lives. When it is safe and nutritious, it is a powerful ally for our health. However, an imbalanced diet or contaminated food can expose us to immediate risks or chronic diseases. ANSES provides scientific expertise at all stages of the food chain, from the production of foods of animal or plant origin through to the consumer's plate. It assesses the risks associated with the contamination of food by pathogens and toxic substances. It also assesses nutritional quality, and the risks of physical inactivity and sedentary behaviour.

News

Only consume liquorice occasionally and in moderation
reglisse
31/03/2023

Only consume liquorice occasionally and in moderation

Liquorice is found in a wide variety of foods and drinks, including sweets, ice cream, syrups and alcoholic beverages. Regularly eating large amounts of food containing liquorice can cause serious and potentially life-threatening poisoning, even in healthy individuals. Following the cases of poisoning recorded by poison control centres from 2012 to 2021, ANSES is recommending that liquorice should only be consumed occasionally and in moderation.
Vitamin D: opt for medicines to avoid overdosing infants
29/03/2023
News

Vitamin D: opt for medicines to avoid overdosing infants

Three new cases of vitamin D overdose have recently been reported in infants as a result of taking food supplements. Too much vitamin D can have serious, life-threatening consequences for the health of young children. To limit risks, we are reiterating our recommendations on the vitamin D supplementation of infants.
ANSES portraits: women in science
10/02/2023

ANSES portraits: women in science

To mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, six of the women who contribute to science at ANSES talk about their work.
First application of ANSES's methodology for assessing the risks of nanomaterials in food
16/12/2022
News

First application of ANSES's methodology for assessing the risks of nanomaterials in food

Conventional methodologies are not always suitable for assessing the potential health risks to consumers of nanomaterials used in food. In 2021, ANSES therefore proposed a "nanospecific" risk assessment methodology, which it has just tested on the food additive E171, or titanium dioxide (TiO2), which is the most widely studied nanomaterial. Its use in food has been prohibited in Europe since August 2022. This practical application has shown both the method's validity and the extent of the lack of data for conducting an adequate risk assessment of nanomaterials in food.
Vitamin D : no endocrine disruptor label on food products
recherche Information produit alimentaire
28/10/2022

Vitamin D : no endocrine disruptor label on food products

ANSES advises against including vitamin D3 in the list of substances to be mentioned as endocrine disruptors on food products, as part of implementation of the French AGEC Act.
New European projects on the horizon, to better protect animal and human health
21/10/2022

New European projects on the horizon, to better protect animal and human health

ANSES is involved in five new projects that have been selected by the EU's Horizon Europe research programme. Some of them started in the first half of 2022, while others will begin this autumn.
Tick-borne encephalitis : tracing the origin of cases of transmission via cheese
Fromages de chèvre
07/10/2022

Tick-borne encephalitis : tracing the origin of cases of transmission via cheese

For the very first time, human cases of foodborne infection with tick-borne encephalitis virus were observed in France in 2020. Several ANSES laboratories responded in order to understand the circumstances, improve the detection of the virus in raw-milk products, and thus prevent the risk of similar cases occurring. The initial results of their work were recently published.
Media monitoring as an additional means of identifying plant pests
Un papillon fulgore tacheté, ravageur de végétaux
28/09/2022
News

Media monitoring as an additional means of identifying plant pests

In its work to monitor and detect new plant pests, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) regularly analyses the scientific literature, as well as the professional and general media. This monitoring is complementary to other existing surveillance systems. In particular, it enables the detection of very localised damage caused by organisms that are not subject to mandatory reporting.
Wild mushroom season has begun : be vigilant !
14/09/2022

Wild mushroom season has begun : be vigilant !

The arrival of autumn marks the beginning of the wild mushroom picking season. Although wild mushrooms are popular delicacies, some species are nevertheless toxic or even fatal to humans. In 2021, four people died after mistaking a toxic species for an edible species. Whether you are a connoisseur or an occasional picker, you should remain vigilant and comply with good practices to ensure safe consumption.
Learn to distinguish horse chestnuts from sweet chestnuts, to avoid poisoning !
22/08/2022
News

Learn to distinguish horse chestnuts from sweet chestnuts, to avoid poisoning !

In this early autumn period, horse chestnuts, which grow and fall from the horse chestnut or conker tree, are frequently confused with sweet chestnuts, which come from the sweet or Spanish chestnut tree.
Reducing dietary exposure to nitrites and nitrates
Réduire l’exposition aux nitrites et aux nitrates dans l’alimentation
12/07/2022
News

Reducing dietary exposure to nitrites and nitrates

Every day, we are exposed to nitrites and nitrates through our diet. In light of current knowledge on their effects on human health, ANSES recommends reducing the population's exposure to these substances by taking proactive measures to limit dietary exposure. To that end, ANSES has identified several courses of action, in particular reducing the use of nitrites as additives in delicatessen meat, noting that this should be achieved in a controlled manner in order to avoid any increase in foodborne infections.
A new test to better detect pathogenic E. coli in food
12/07/2022

A new test to better detect pathogenic E. coli in food

Escherichia coli (E. coli ) is a bacterium found in the digestive tract of humans, other mammals and birds. Although the majority of E. coli strains are harmless, some of them can cause serious cases of diarrhoea and even, less often, death. ANSES has developed a faster and more targeted method for detecting pathogenic E. coli in food, in particular in raw milk products.

Decryption

Pesticides in tap water
15/03/2023

Pesticides in tap water

As they disperse in the environment after application, the active substances in pesticides can degrade into one or more other compounds called "metabolites". Some of these substances then end up in drinking water. In order to guarantee consumer health, ANSES provides the Directorate General for Health with scientific benchmarks that are invaluable for monitoring tap water quality. To do this, the Agency uses a method for identifying those pesticide metabolites whose presence in drinking water warrants priority attention.
How to avoid food poisoning from norovirus
Comment éviter les intoxications alimentaires liées aux norovirus ?
23/01/2023

How to avoid food poisoning from norovirus

In France, noroviruses are the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in all age groups. In this article, we take a look at the source of these viruses and how they are transmitted.
Risks of dietary exposure to chlordecone in the French Caribbean
19/12/2022

Risks of dietary exposure to chlordecone in the French Caribbean

Chlordecone is a pesticide that can pose a risk to human health. It was used in banana plantations in the French Caribbean until 1993. Being very persistent, it has permanently contaminated the soil and water, and even today has an impact on crops and livestock production. Since the early 2000s, ANSES has been working to improve knowledge on exposure of the French Caribbean population to this contaminant and the associated health risks. In particular, it has made recommendations on the consumption of locally produced food.
Vitamin C
03/11/2022

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is involved in the formation of collagen and plays an important role in the defence against oxidative stress. Find out more about its role, the foods in which it is found, and the risks of deficiency.
Vitamin B9
03/11/2022

Vitamin B9

Vitamin B9 is essential for certain functions of the body, particularly cell renewal. In which foods is it found? Which population groups are most likely to be consuming inadequate amounts? What are the health risks of this inadequate intake? All the answers to these questions are in this article.
Salt or sodium chloride
03/11/2022

Salt or sodium chloride

Salt, which consists almost entirely of sodium chloride, is necessary for the functioning of the body. However, consuming too much of it can lead to the development of certain diseases. Find out which foods are high in salt and read our recommendations for limiting your intake.
Iodine
03/11/2022

Iodine

Iodine is vital to the synthesis of thyroid hormones. Find out about its importance to the body, the health risks in the event of excess or deficiency, and the foods containing it.
Iron
03/11/2022

Iron

Iron is mainly needed to help the body transport and use oxygen. Find out which foods are rich in iron, the risks associated with iron deficiency, and which population groups need special attention.
Calcium
03/11/2022

Calcium

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body and is found mainly in the skeleton. Find out why calcium is important for your health, which diseases are caused by a deficiency and which foods are rich in calcium.
What is histamine and what can be done to prevent poisoning?
histamine dans le poisson
17/08/2022

What is histamine and what can be done to prevent poisoning?

Histamine poisoning is one of the main causes of foodborne illness related to fish consumption. However, this poisoning can be avoided by observing hygiene rules, particularly regarding the cold chain. Here are some explanations.
Ten questions & answers concerning nitrates and nitrites
Réduire l’exposition aux nitrites et aux nitrates dans l’alimentation
12/07/2022

Ten questions & answers concerning nitrates and nitrites

What is the difference between nitrates and nitrites? Why are they found in food? Through what foods are we most exposed to these substances? Are we too exposed to them? Is there really such a thing as “nitrite-free” delicatessen meat? You will find all the answers to these questions in this article.
What are the health effects of energy drinks?
30/06/2022

What are the health effects of energy drinks?

What do “energy drinks” contain? What health effects can they have? How can you avoid these effects? ANSES answers your questions.

Publications

Document PDF
Assessment of the physical and chemical risks in foods
Thematique
Food and nutrition
Date de mise en ligne
11/08/2022
Numéro de saisine
2020-SA-0106
Document PDF
Assessment of the biological risks in foods
Thematique
Food and nutrition
Date de mise en ligne
21/11/2022
Numéro de saisine
2022-SA-0110
Document PDF
Assessment of the physical and chemical risks in foods
Thematique
Food and nutrition
Environmental health
Date de mise en ligne
24/01/2022
Numéro de saisine
2020-SA-0020
Document PDF
Assessment of the physical and chemical risks in foods
Thematique
Food and nutrition
Date de mise en ligne
24/01/2022
Numéro de saisine
2020-SA-0083