Dietary Exposure & Human Health Risk Assessments

Intake & Dietary Risk/Safety Assessments 

Assess exposure to and safety of food ingredients and inherent components of food, additives, and contaminants

Drawing on methodology that nutritionists, dieticians, toxicologists, epidemiologists, and biochemists have used for more than 60 years, dietary exposure assessments and dietary risk assessments are designed to evaluate human exposure to chemical, microbiological, or physical agents present in foods and to identify foods associated with an acute outbreak. Exponent has acquired and processed data from several national and international food consumption surveys and integrated them into models that can be used to efficiently estimate intake of foods, nutrients, and food additives (plus enzymes and flavorings), as well as dietary exposure to contaminants.

Definitive contaminant exposure and risk assessments.

When investigating an acute outbreak or emergent concern, there are direct and indirect approaches to dietary risk assessment. Direct methods estimate the intake of the compound of interest in individuals within a population subgroup, while indirect methods combine food consumption data with contaminant concentration data derived from different data sources. Dietary intake of a food component, such as a micronutrient; a food ingredient, such as a food additive; or a contaminant, such as a pesticide residue, is often indirectly estimated based on two parameters: (1) the concentration of the food component, ingredient, or contaminant at the time of consumption and (2) the amount of the food consumed. Whether chemical, microbial, or physical, our consultants can definitively estimate human exposure to a variety of food substances and contaminants using existing integrated models, or construct new models targeted to address your specific questions and concerns.

We offer two assessment types to meet your needs:

Intake assessments

Exponent frequently utilizes nationwide surveys such as the CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), EFSA's comprehensive food consumption database, and the U.K. government's national food consumption surveys for adults, toddlers, and young people, along with food consumption data from several other countries. Proper analysis of the data from these surveys requires the use of specialized statistical methods to adjust for the complex sample designs. Exponent has the tools and experience to help you make sense of these data and routinely uses these data in nutrition and dietary exposure assessments. These assessments can also be used by food companies for market research and product development.

Chemical/microbial dietary assessments

Evaluating the data to use in dietary exposure assessments and properly interpreting the findings is not always an easy task. Exponent's experienced consultants include both technical and regulatory experts who are knowledgeable in dealing with food composition and consumption, food safety, and nutrition. They use specially designed dietary assessment models to derive estimates of exposure to chemical and microbial contaminants from the diet and have the expertise to design models to address complex scientific questions.

Our Capabilities Are Unparalleled

With expertise in over 90 disciplines and hundreds of capabilities, tools, and methodologies — we get to the root of even the most complex challenges and give you the objective answers you need.