Visit to the study kitchen from China

Exchanging experiences on Total Diet Studies in Germany and China: This was the objective of the delegation from the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment (CFSA) and the German MEAL Study team at the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).

At the meeting, the BfR and CFSA discussed the various approaches to the study’s structure and analytics. The Chinese colleagues were particularly interested in how out-of-house consumption and the nutritional behaviour of children were represented in the German Total Diet Study. During a tour of the specially fitted study kitchen, the individual work steps were explained in detail and they learned how the results of the preliminary studies on the purchasing and preparation behaviour of the German population are being put into practice. 

China has years of experience with Total Diet Studies (TDS): Almost 30 years ago, the CFSA carried out the first TDS. The current, sixth Chinese TDS examines food from 14 food groups for environmental contaminants, plant protection product residue, veterinary drugs and nutrients, amongst others. In particular, the delegates saw the challenge of future TDSs in China as covering all eating habits in a country as large as China. This is especially important considering that the food selection and recipes differ greatly between individual Chinese provinces, as well as between cities and the countryside.

The BfR MEAL Study is the first German and most comprehensive Total Diet Study worldwide. Presumably until 2021, it will examine almost 300 desirable and undesirable  substances including heavy metals, mycotoxins, plant protection product residues and nutrients in around 60,000 foods. The first results are expected over the course of this year.