Effect-based Analytics for Toxicological Screening — Concepts for Future Developments

Albert Braeuning, Alfonso Lampen

Biblographic citation: Food Protection Trends, vol. 37, no. 6, pp. 430-437, Nov 2017

Volume 37, Issue 6: Pages 430–437

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The concept of effect-based analytics is based not on the detection of individual substances present in food or feed by analytic chemistry, but rather on determining effects these substances cause in biological systems. In this way, effect-based analytics allow for the detection of unknown toxins. In-depth knowledge of molecular principles of toxicity is required to develop suitable biological test systems for effect-driven analysis. An example of an established representative of a test system of this kind is the CALUX (Chemical-Activated Luciferase Gene Expression) test for dioxin-like effects, which measures xenobiotic activation of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor by means of a luciferase reporter system. Such test systems permit the reliable detection of specific molecular mechanisms of toxicity. Possibilities are sketched out here for further development of methods in effect-based analytics, with the help of which the parallel detection of various molecular modes of action mediating toxicity to biological systems could be possible in the future. A special focus is placed on novel developments in the field of transcript signature-based effect detection and their possible application in food analysis. A vision of the future of effect-based techniques in food and feed safety is mapped out, expanding far beyond current applications of effect-based systems.

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