Безопасность и качество пищевых продуктов

FAO/WHO food safety experts provide guidance on tropane alkaloids


A Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting was convened virtually on 30 March–3 April 2020 to provide risk assessments for tropane alkaloids, hyoscyamine and scopolamine. These occur in several plants that can contaminate staples like cereals and grains through the presence of toxic Datura stramonium seeds. Food aid contaminated with tropane alkaloids was determined to be the cause of food poisoning outbreaks in the Republic of Uganda and the Republic of South Sudan in 2019. These events affected more than 300 people and even resulted in deaths.  

There are currently no international regulations in place for tropane alkaloids. With global distribution of food aid increasing over the years, the issue of tropane alkaloids is of significant concern to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP). FAO and WHO responded to an urgent request from WFP to provide scientific advice on tropane alkaloids in both processed and unprocessed food products. The publication, Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on Tropane Alkaloids, captures the discussions of the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting. It lays out the risk assessments for the tropane alkaloids as well as provides guidance for the development of operational limits of the combined sum of hyoscyamine and scopolamine in products distributed by WFP.  

In order to develop appropriate risk management measures in the WFP supply chains, it was recognized that limits expressed as physical toxic D. stramonium seed contamination of cereals and grains will be beneficial for screening purposes at the field level. To address this, an FAO/WHO guidance document on physical Datura stramonium seed contamination was developed and published.  

The two documents can be used together to appropriately manage risks due to tropane alkaloids contamination and thus prevent intoxication events in the future.  

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Joint FAO/WHO Expert Meeting on Tropane Alkaloids

Guidance document on physical Datura stramonium seed contamination

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