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Risk–benefit assessment of seaweed Allergenicity risk assessment of novel protein

on the Wiley Online Library

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Abstract

As the world population rapidly grows, there is a clear need for alternative food sources, particularly for the provision of protein. Seaweed is one such alternative source of protein that requires greater investigation. In this context, a working programme within the European Food Risk Assessment (EU‐FORA) Fellowship Programme framework was developed at National Food Institute – Technical University of Denmark. This Programme is an initiative of the EFSA with the aim to build a European risk assessment community. The purpose of this technical report is to describe the activities in which the fellow was involved. As part of the Research Group for Risk–Benefit, the fellow performed a risk–benefit assessment of seaweed Palmaria palmata gaining an in‐depth expertise in all the steps. The health impact of Palmaria palmata consumption was estimated, considering its high nutritional value but also highlighting concerns towards some components. Simultaneous to the work on the risk–benefit, the fellow also worked within the Research Group for Food Allergy, specifically on the allergenicity risk assessment of a plant‐based novel protein (seaweed protein) using different laboratory assays. Seaweed protein digestibility was assessed, and its digestion products were characterised and assessed for immunogenicity. Finally, the fellow collaborated with the Research Group for Microbial Biotechnology and Biorefining in the development of a novel food (alfalfa protein) application dossier to be submitted to EFSA, gaining expertise in the risk assessment of a novel food. In conclusion, the present working programme, together with additional activities and training provided by different institutions, enabled the fellow to gain a broader perspective in food safety, particularly concerning seaweed, novel foods and the safety assessment of novel proteins.

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