Total Diet Study Exposure

ABOUT TDS-Exposure (Grant no. 289108)

Duration: 4 years from February 2012-January 2016

Coordinator: TDS-Exposure was led by Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l‘alimentation, de l‘environnement et du travail (ANSES, FR)

Project Partners: TDS-Exposure had 26 beneficiaries from 19 countries.

Source of funding: TDS-Exposure was a Collaborative (Research) Project and  funded through the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme.


Total diet studies complemented traditional monitoring and surveillance by providing a scientific basis for population dietary exposure to nutrients and non-nutrients including contaminants, and potential impact on public health. Food selection was based on (national) consumption data, prepared as consumed, and data from related foods pooled prior to analysis.

Aim & Project Deliverable(s)

TDS-Exposure focused on exposure to food contaminants including heavy metals, mycotoxins and persistent organic pollutants (POPs, e.g. polychlorinated biphenols), which pose a risk to human health and the environment, and estimated chronic exposure to pesticide residues in food as well as food additives intake. However, exposure was based on whole diets, as consumed, rather than contamination of raw commodities, resulting in a more realistic measure of exposure to potentially harmful compounds than currently available.

TDS facilitated risk assessment and health monitoring, but some EU Member States and Candidate Countries did not have TDS programmes or used a variety of methods to collect data, and it was not clear whether data are comparable. It is important to harmonise methods for dietary exposure risks worldwide, and TDS-Exposure standardised methods for food sampling, analyses, exposure assessment calculations and modelling, priority foods, and selection of chemical contaminants. In the process, a variety of approaches and methods for sampling and analyses were assessed, and best practice defined. Contaminants and foods that contribute most to total exposure in Europe is also established.

In addition, TDS-Exposure provided training for those countries without total diet studies, enabling best practice in the creation and execution of TDS programmes in those regions lacking such population studies, and ensuring the data collected were coherent with others studies globally. Information about these and existing European TDS are published to promote better handling of dietary exposure data, and established a legacy of harmonised methods and science-based recommendations for public health worldwide.

ROLE of EuroFIR AISBL in TDS-Exposure

EuroFIR AISBL was the leader partner of Word Package 10 and was charge of supporting training and dissemination activities, including the development and the management of the project website. Moreover, EuroFIR AISBL participated to the evaluation of existing food identification and classification systems and to the identification of the needs for new development on food identification, description and classification.

Find out more

For further information visit TDS-Exposure website