Literature Review

An updated review of published human health risk-benefit assessment studies in the scientific literature

Taya Huang, Cherie Ko, Karen Hooper and Benjamin PC Smith

Published: 15 November, 2022 | Volume 6 - Issue 1 | Pages: 062-067

Background: Public health policies in the area of food and diets tend to separate recommendations on food safety and nutrition. However, food products can simultaneously have risks and benefits. Risk-benefit assessment (RBA) seeks to integrate the assessment of both risks and benefits to aid complex decision-making using a multidisciplinary approach. In this study, a systematic literature review of recent RBA studies was performed, focusing on food consumption and human health following earlier reviews by Boué, et al. (2015) and Thomsen, et al. (2021). 
Results: A total of 50 new RBA studies were reviewed since 20 May 2014. Our current literature review shows that the majority of RBA studies conducted in recent years remain focused on seafood, with studies on fish alone comprising 34% of all studies; the focus being on the benefits of fish consumption versus contaminant exposure. Most of the studies have been conducted in Europe 
(n = 31) and Asia (n = 11). 
Conclusion: RBA has the potential to be applied more widely to other food choices such as alternative proteins, yet application remains limited to specific applications and contaminant/nutrient case studies. In recent years, a few RBA studies have been reported on less mainstream food sources and one specifically on novel foods. Novel foods offer a unique application space for RBA as their development is focused heavily on the benefits to the consumer, society, and environment, yet there remains uncertainty as to their safety. 

Read Full Article HTML DOI: 10.29328/journal.afns.1001039 Cite this Article Read Full Article PDF


Food; Food policy; Food safety; Novel food; Systematic literature review; Risk-benefit assessment


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