CASCADE - Chemicals as contaminants in the food chain: an NOE for research, risk assessment and education


The harmful effects of dietary chemical contaminants represent a major health problem in every society. However since there is insufficient information it has proved difficult to assess the health risks they constitute for humans, especially women, newbor n children, and other susceptible populations. Nuclear receptors regulate critical cellular processes such as cell growth and differentiation, metabolic processes and other. Endocrine disrupting agents, acting through nuclear receptors, are thus involved i n many different pathological situations such as tumour development, metabolic disease and obesity, coronary heart problems etc. Europe has recognized this threat and extensive research efforts have been undertaken to identify the problems caused by food b orne contaminants. However, the full European potential in this area of research has not been utilised because European research is fragmented. There is little coordination of the European research and this lack of integration results in a sub optimal Eu ropean research atmosphere. To address this issue 18 Universities and SMEs have decided to form a European wide Network of Excellence (NoE) under the leadership of the Karolinska Institutet. We will harmonize the whole chain of events from sampling proced ures, to risk assessment and legislative measures. The participation of multiple research areas will facilitate greater efficiency of data production, information flow and communication of knowledge in key areas such as sampling methods, identification a nd analysis of chemical residues and identification of relevant marker proteins. End results will include training programmes and provision of rationalised information for assessing the risk that these compounds pose to human health. Channelling informa tion to the general public will be emphasised so that the scientific information will be used by consumers and for implementation of legislative measures.

Executive Institute:

Karolinska Institute (KI) Details of Karolinska Institute

Contract period:

01. 02. 2004 - 31. 01. 2010

Project budget:

14,400,000 €

Participating Institutions:

Funding Programme:


  • Food Chemistry
  • Food Processing

Purpose of research:

Applied research

Funding Institutions:

Project Management Agency: