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Database of processing techniques and processing factors compatible with the EFSA food classification and description system FoodEx 2 Objective 3: European database of processing factors for pesticides in food


The present document has been produced and adopted by the bodies identified above as authors. In accordance with Article 36 of Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, this task has been carried out exclusively by the authors in the context of a grant agreement between the European Food Safety Authority and the authors. The present document is published complying with the transparency principle to which the Authority is subject. It cannot be considered as an output adopted by the Authority. The European Food Safety Authority reserves its rights, view and position as regards the issues addressed and the conclusions reached in the present document, without prejudice to the rights of the authors.


EFSA is conducting pan‐European dietary exposure and risk assessments related to actual levels of pesticide residues in food commodities. These assessments use the pesticide occurrence data generated under the official monitoring programs of Member States, the consumption data from EFSA's comprehensive food consumption database and pesticide‐specific information such as processing factors. Currently no harmonised list of processing factors is available within Europe and worldwide. The overall objective of this project is to develop a database of validated processing factors, which is compatible with the EFSA food classification and description system FoodEx 2.

In the first part of the project, a compendium of representative processing techniques was elaborated which serves as a standard description of all relevant processes and as a basis for validation of processing studies. In the second part of the project all relevant processes and raw and processed commodities were coded according to FoodEx2. In the third and last part of the project all processing studies used by EFSA in their Conclusions and Reasoned Opinions issued until 30/06/2016 were re‐evaluated according to uniform quality criteria and reported in a database. The database is provided as a flat Excel spreadsheet. Information on processing conditions, on analytical methods, storage stability and GLP was collected from the studies and was used to judge the acceptability of each processing study. The representativeness of the processing conditions applied in the studies was judged by comparing them to the compendium of representative processing techniques. Processing factors (PF) were derived from the studies according to comprehensible calculation rules and based on the residue definitions for monitoring. The individual PF were judged for their acceptability. For each commodity/process/active substance combination a median PF was calculated from the individual ones, based on the trials from one or more studies. The database is a ready‐to‐use inventory of PF for pesticides in a variety of processed food items.

In a pilot project a second database was set up with processing factors based on the residue definition for dietary risk assessment. Extension of this database is recommended.

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