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Contaminants in Food Products: Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids - How to Best Ensure the Lowest Level During Food Production
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA) are contaminants found in various food products, including tea and herbal infusion, food supplements, honey and medical plants. The collection of the crop plant together with the unintentional collection of PA rich plants through weeds causes the contamination. Only 3-4 plants are enough to contaminate around 1000 kg of food products. Therefore, the European Commission have planned to set limits for the PA linked to the Regulation 1881/2006 which already implemented the maximum levels of some contaminants in food products. Although there is not yet enough evidence and data yet, the level of alarm is very high due to the possible carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic impact on our health. However, zero PA is almost impossible to achieve, hence, an agricultural system which guarantees the minimization of PA will have competitive advantages in the European market.

This online-workshop will bring together experts of the agri-food industry and policymakers to inform and discuss the impact of Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids on the food production to help all actors in the supply chain to be prepared for a maximum level while ensuring unintended contamination will be kept as low as technically possible. Furthermore, it will highlight the advantage of an alternative cropping system and best practices to ensure a low Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids contamination.
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