National Academy of Sciences of Belarus


Scientists suggest strengthening control over food quality

The NAS of Belarus with the involvement of specialists from scientific medical organizations of the Ministry of Health recommended using more widely the methodology for assessing risk analysis when developing enriched and functional foods. This decision was made at a meeting of the interdepartmental coordinating Council on nutrition problems under the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, which was held on 28 February 2018. In particular, it is recommended to further develop the risk analysis methodology in terms of assessing the potentially negative impact of drugs residues of veterinary and plant protection products, as well as substances migrating from the polymeric packaging of food products on the health of the population of the republic. As noted, the analysis of the risk of food safety is an internationally recognized, modern and effective method. The necessary legislative framework, institutional structure, methodological support and human resources have been formed to implement it in the Republic of Belarus.

At the meeting of the interdepartmental coordinating Council on nutrition problems under the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, the problem of the scientific substantiation of the declared properties of functional food products was also considered. Today, unfortunately, claimed properties of many food products can be used by unscrupulous producers to increase sales of low-quality or even harmful food products due to insufficient regulation of scientific expertise of the claimed functional properties of food products.

The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus recommended consolidating the need for scientific confirmation of the functional properties of food products declared by manufacturers in order to protect the domestic food market and promote high-quality food products. In particular, this applies to those products that contain physiologically functional food ingredients that were not previously used on the territory of the republic. In this regard, the NAS of Belarus (the Scientific and Practical Center of the NAS of Belarus for Foodstuffs") together with specialists of the Ministry of Health (the Scientific and Practical Center for Hygiene") recommended to initiate the development of appropriate regulatory documents. They are planned to provide the state registration of food additives, flavorings, herbal extracts as flavors and raw materials, probiotic microorganisms, starter cultures and bacterial ferments, technological aids, including enzyme preparations; nanomaterials and food products obtained using nanotechnology and certain types of functional food products. It is planned to consolidate the introduction into circulation of food additives, flavorings, and technological microorganisms for use in the food industry only after experimental studies on biological test systems with the study of general toxicity, kinetics in the body, metabolism, long-term effects on the 2-3 generation, clinical observations on volunteers and follow-up monitoring during their treatment in the documents. It is proposed to provide labeling of food additives, flavorings, technological aids, including enzyme preparations made using genetically modified microorganisms.