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Extensive literature search on grayanotoxins and 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural

Approximate launch date:
December 2019


  • Budget: 50,000.00 €
  • Approximate launch date: Beginning of November 2019
  • Deadline to register interest: 19/11/2019
  • Background: Grayanotoxins, also known as andrometodoxin, acetylandromedol or rhodotoxin are diterpens present in plants belonging to the Ericacea family. Grayanotoxins can also be present in products originating from such plants in particular in honey. Uptake of grayanotoxins has been associated with a series of adverse effects on the nervous system in humans. The EFSA compendium on botanicals mentions grayanotoxins as chemicals of concern in leaves and flowers of Rhododendron species. 5-Hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) is a product of the Maillard reaction i.e. is formed during the thermal treatment of carbohydrate containing foods. It can be found in a variety of foods like fruit juices, jam, chocolates, cereal bars but also in honey. HMF has been shown to exert toxicity in animal experiments and to have potentially adverse effects in humans. It is also toxic to bees and application of HMF-containing bee feed has been associated with shorter life span and increased mortality in bees. EFSA seeks to receive a comprehensive collection and overview of the publicly available information on these compounds and an evaluation of this information with regard to its relevance for the assessment of risks to human health (grayanotoxins) and bee health (5-HMF).

The objectives of the contract resulting from this procurement procedure are as follows:

  • Objective 1: To develop search strategies to retrieve information pertinent to the human health risk assessment of grayanotoxins and assessment of the effects of 5-HMF on bee health.
  • Objective 2: To carry out 2 extensive literature searches
  • Objective 3: To evaluate the literature with regard to their relevance for human health risk assessment of grayanotoxins and assessment of effects of 5-HMF on bees.
  • Selection criteria – technical and professional capacity:

    The proposed experts must have demonstrable experience in the following areas:

    • 1 toxicologist of at least 5 years of experience, and;
    • 1 expert in bee health or ecotoxicology of at least 5 years of experience, and;
    • 1 expert in occurrence/analysis of contaminants/chemicals in food/feed of at least 5 years of experience, and;
    • 1 data manager of at least 5 years of experience.

If you are interested in this procedure please send an email within the deadline to EFSAprocurement [at] quoting the reference of the procedure and specifying the following:

  • your name/organisation’s name and address;
  • whether you participate as a physical person or an organisation/private company.

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