Risk assessment of a new additive for a soft drink – possible health risks for a single exposure to tasting panel members


An industry client


A drinks company was interested in developing a new additive for a soft drink. Bibra was asked to give an opinion on the possible health risks for members of a tasting panel involved in a sensory analysis trial, in which they would receive a one-off exposure to a particular chemical in a liquid product.

Project Goals

To assess whether there was any health risk to members of a tasting panel who received a one-off exposure to the new additive.


The client advised bibra of the maximum level of the new additive to which members of the tasting panel would be exposed. We identified information on existing levels of exposure that are considered acceptable, based on occupational exposure limits, levels used in toxicology studies on volunteers, and experience from the medical use of the compound. Searches were limited to the bibra TRACE database, as this was considered sufficient for the purposes of this initial risk assessment.

Project Outcome

Bibra was able to reassure the client that no significant health risks would be anticipated in healthy members of a tasting panel at the estimated levels of exposure to the compound. However, even this preliminary assessment was enough to highlight some potential adverse effects that might arise following prolonged oral intake. It was suggested that the dose-response relationships would need to be carefully assessed before any decision could be made on the merits of deliberately adding this compound to a particular food or beverage. The client was made aware of the possible pitfalls of this idea at an early stage of product development, thus potentially avoiding heavy investment in a product with associated health issues

Bibra project leader

Tanya Diver

Food and food-contact reviews

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