These materials are the basic building blocks of everything in the world. Food and pharmaceutical Chemicals are a very important group of these compounds that are related to the health of people in the community.
Today, the use of Chemical additives can increase the shelf life of food, and a variety of chemical colors and flavors can make food more attractive and delicious. Also, these substances can be used to preserve and make food safer and eliminate many harmful microorganisms in Foods or prevent them from growing.
Currently, thanks to the list of these substances, the pharmaceutical industry is also very developed, and with the help of these compounds, a variety of drugs can be produced for various diseases. Most drugs are precursors to chemicals. In addition to medical drugs, these compounds are also used to produce drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
Chemicals are essential building blocks for everything in the world. All living matter, including people, animals and plants, consists of chemicals. Chemicals in food are largely harmless and often desirable – for example, nutrients such as carbohydrates, protein, fat and fibre are composed of chemical compounds. Chemicals can, however, have a variety of toxicological properties, some of which might cause effects in humans and animals. This scientific advice informs decision-makers who regulate the use of chemicals in food or seek to limit their presence in the food chain. Other chemicals can be used to fight diseases in farm animals or crops, or can sometimes be found in food as a result of a production process such as heating/cooking or decontamination treatment. As a contribution to the ‘European Green Deal’, EFSA and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have drafted a joint position paper around the idea of “one substance - one assessment” for chemicals. The European Commission published the European Green Deal in December 2019, announcing a chemicals strategy for sustainability. Some chemicals are added to food for a variety of technical reasons, including to make them taste better, last longer or be more nutritional. Sometimes traces of chemicals are unintentionally present in food because of food production and preparation methods, such as residues of pesticides or additives used in animal feed. Small traces of chemicals from packaging and other food contact materials can also unintentionally end up in food. EFSA’s main task is to carry out scientific risk assessments on possible hazards associated with the food chain, including potential risks posed by chemicals in food. Our scientists use internationally recognised approaches in their risk assessments of chemicals to help safeguard the health of consumers and animals and to help protect the environment. EFSA provides scientific advice in the form of risk assessments and other technical assistance on chemicals in food and feed to European Union risk managers (European Commission, European Parliament, Member States).