RiskBenefit4EU – Partnering to strengthen Risk‐Benefit Assessment within the EU using a holistic approach
“RiskBenefit4EU ‐ Partnering to strengthen the risk‐benefit assessment within EU using a holistic approach” was a knowledge transfer project funded by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) that integrated a multidisciplinary team from Portugal, Denmark and France. This project aimed to strengthen the EU capacity to assess risks and benefits associated with human food consumption, considering the fields of toxicology, microbiology and nutrition. To train the recipient partners from Portugal on Risk‐Benefit Assessment (RBA), a capacity‐building program was implemented, including three main activities: theoretical training on RBA concepts; hands‐on training applying concepts to a case‐study using methods and tools displayed; and scientific missions to provide advanced training in specific domains of RBA. The developed RBA strategy was applied to a case study focusing on the RBAof the consumption of cereal‐based products by Portuguese young children. Risks due to aflatoxins, Bacillus cereus, sodium and free sugars, were evaluated, as well as the benefit of fibreintake. Five different scenarios of infant cereals and/or breakfast cereals consumption were considered, and the assessment showed that moving from the current consumption to the considered alternative scenarios wouldresult in a gain of healthy‐life years. The RiskBenefit4EU project applied a collaborative method to train a new team to perform RBAs of foods and face the challenge of cooperation between experts from different disciplines. During the process of capacity building, a movement from conceptual knowledge towards action was an essential step to effectively increase performance. The developed framework facilitated the case‐study accomplishment and contributed to build a shared and harmonized RBA approach and culture. The suggested strategy can now be re‐used to capacitate other teams in RBA,and can be considered as a basis to build upon.