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Infant health with regard to milk consumption

Development of a global methodology for assessing the risk / benefit balance

risque benef
New publication of SECALIM

Until the beginning of the 21st century, the risks and benefits associated with the consumption of food were assessed separately in microbiology, chemistry and nutrition. The SECALIM Joint Research Unit has joined forces with that of LABERCA to develop a conceptual and methodological framework to quantitatively assess the overall impact of food on human health, simultaneously taking into account these three disciplines.
The case study chosen is that of feeding infants from 0 to 6 months (breast milk and infant formulas). Three probabilistic mathematical models have been developed to quantify the risks and benefits associated with the presence in milk of three determining factors on health. These were polychlorinated biphenyls linked to their carcinogenic nature, the bacterium Cronobacter sakazakii which can cause serious or even fatal infections in infants, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), a polyunsaturated fatty acid essential in the early stages of brain development. and cognitive. Monte Carlo-type probabilistic approaches have made it possible to quantify the risks while integrating the uncertainty associated with the lack of knowledge and the absence of certain data. The results were expressed as the level of consumer exposure, then as the number of people involved, converted into the number of years of life lost or gained (DALYs).
This new methodology will serve as a basis for continuing integrative research with regard to risk-benefit assessment. This approach is part of a more general approach of multi-criteria analysis of agronomic and food systems.

Publication: Boué, G., E. Cummins, S. Guillou, J.-P. Antignac, B. Le Bizec and J.-M. Membré, 2017, Development and application of a probabilistic risk-benefit assessment model for infant feeding integrating microbiological, nutritional and chemical components, Risk Analysis, Accepted March 2017, DOI: 10.1111/risa.12792
Partners: this work was carried out in collaboration with SECALIM UMR1014 and LABERCA UMR1329 and UCD of Dublin. It is part of the phD thesis of Géraldine Boué (defended the 4th of july 2017).