Toxicological risk assessment and nutrition


Toxicity is the potential of a substance to cause harm to a living organism. Nutrition is the science of how diet relates to the body's need for sustenance.

According to the WHO, risk analysis consists of three components: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication. Risk assessment is the central component of risk analysis and provides a scientific basis for risk management decisions on measures that may be needed to protect human health. It takes into account all available relevant scientific data and identifies any uncertainties in the knowledge base.

Risk assessment comprises the four steps of hazard identification, hazard characterization (including dose–response assessment), exposure assessment and risk characterization. It is a conceptual framework that, in the context of food chemical safety, provides a mechanism for the structured review of information relevant to assessing possible health outcomes in relation to exposures to chemicals present in food.


Detailed information can be found:

- WHO: Environmental Health Criteria 240 Principles and Methods for the Risk Assessment of Chemicals in Food:



- EC: COMMISSION REGULATION (EC) No 2073/2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs

- EC: Commission Regulation (EC) No 2023/915 on  maximum levels for certain contaminants in food 

What do I offer

- Career-long experience with toxicological risk assessment, especially in the area of food safety.

- Career-long expertise with food and nutrition.

- Unique expertise in the combined area of food safety/toxicology plus nutrition.

- Hands-on experience with application and interpretation of OECD test guidelines for regulated products.

- Collaboration in (EU) projects as an SME.


Expertise with the topic

- Board Certified Toxicologist (since 1990).

- Board Certified Nutritionist (since 2005).

- Hundreds of scientific publications, (confidential) reports, lectures etc.

- visiting professor of food safety and nutrition at the University of Ulster (Northern Ireland) since 2009 and at the Danish Technical University (DTU, Denmark) since 2021. 


Some key publications in the area

  • L.C.M. Dorne , J. Richardson, A. Livaniou , E. Carnesecchi , L. Ceriani, R. Baldin, S. Kovarich, M. Pavan, E. Saouter, F. Biganzoli, L. Pasinato, M. Zare Jeddi, T. P. Robinson, G.E.N. Kass, A.K.D. Liem, A.A. Toropov, A.P. Toropova, C. Yang, A. Tarkhov, N. Georgiadis, M.R. Di Nicola, A. Mostrag, H. Verhagen, A. Roncaglioni, E. Benfenati, A. Bassan (2021). EFSA’s OpenFoodTox: An open source toxicological database on chemicals in food and feed and its future developments. Environment International, 146: 106293. 
  • Verhagen H, Robinson T, Gallani B, Hugas M, Kleiner J, Hardy A and Devos Y, 2019. EFSA’s third Scientific Conference ‘Science, Food, Society’: concluding remarks. EFSA Journal2019;17(S1): e170723, 9 pp.
  • EFSA (European Food Safety Authority), Arthur Healy, Anthony Hardy, Juliane Kleiner, Tobin Robinson, Hans Verhagen, 2016. Editorial: Review of authorship principles. EFSA Journal 2016;14(9):e14091, 3 pp. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2016.e14091
  • Verhagen H., Aruoma O.I., van Delft J.H.M., Dragsted L.O., Ferguson L.R., Knasmüller S., Pool-Zobel B.L., Poulsen H.E., Williamson G., Yannai S. (2003). Editorial - The 10 basic requirements for a scientific paper reporting antioxidant, antimutagenic or anticarcinogenic potential of test substances in in vitro experiments and animal studies in vivo. Food and Chemical Toxicology 41: 603-610.
  • Verhagen H. (1998). A toxicologist's view on dietary chemo­prevention. In: “Functional Foods; the consumer, the products and the evidence”, M.J. Sadler & M. Saltmarch (Eds.­), The Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge UK, ISBN 0-85404-792-1, pp 87-93
  • Verhagen H. and Feron V.J. (1995). Toxicologie van voeding: niet meer dan genoeg. In: Eten als medicijn (M. Stasse-Wolthuis & A.C. Douwes, Eds.­), Voeding en Gezond­heid 31: 31-42
  • de Vries J., van Assema P., Bruggink T., Derks H.J.G.M­., Drijver de Haas J.S., Feron V.J., Feskens E.J.M., van Genderen H., Groten J., Henry C.J., de Hollander A.E.M., Jansen M.T., Kemmere P., Kok G.J., van Leeuwen F.X.R., Meertens R.M., Nout M., Put H.M.C., Rutten F., Smith M., van Stigt Thans M.J., Verhagen F.J.J., Ver­schuren M. and Voragen A.G.J. (1994). Food safety and toxicity (Food additives: pp 152-165). Open University, Heerlen, The Netherlands.