Research Topic

Risk-Benefit Assessment of Foods: Advances in Public Health

About this Research Topic

The need to promote diets that are healthy, safe and sustainable is recognized as a public health priority. Strategies and actions need to integrate evidence and methods to evaluate jointly risks and benefits related to nutritional and food safety (including microbiological and toxicological) aspects of food consumption. The application of Risk Benefit Assessment (RBA) methods in nutrition is relatively new and involves various disciplines with different semantics, definitions, study designs and outcome measure needs with the aim to facilitate science‐based decision‐making in food‐related areas towards the development of policies and consumer advice. RBA integrates nutrition, toxicology, microbiology and epidemiology for a comprehensive health impact assessment. It also has the potential to integrate environmental impacts and sustainability issues, and can thus address some of the burning challenges food systems will face. Since the RBA-related research domain has substantially advanced in recent years, it is time to progress in “learning by doing” to promote RBA, harmonize methodologies, perform case- studies and exchange experiences.

This Research Topic aims to:
i. explain the different definitional and efficacy requirements of RBA methods
ii. present new RBA case studies that will demonstrate its feasibility and usefulness in informing policy makers in the areas of food and public health
iii. provide insight into methodological challenges and suggest new strategies to carry out RBA taking into consideration the fields of nutrition, food toxicology and microbiology
iv. identify multidisciplinary issues in food safety and nutrition that would lead to the formulation of novel risk-benefit questions and to identify gaps in data and methods, to guide future research in this area
v. bring together recent research in the field and stimulate activities that would engage RBA modelling in the formulation of future health promoting dietary strategies

This Research Topic will include articles presenting methodological issues, Reviews and Original Research papers. Articles on methodology can cover the whole span from the inception, standardized evidence-based selection of model components, as well as issues emerging during the process. Case-studies addressing foods that have not been assessed through a RBA perspective before are most welcome, as well as diet substitution studies. Moreover, communicating RBA results to the Scientific Community, stakeholders and the general public is also a challenge worth considering.

Sub-themes of interest include (but are not limited to):
• RBA case studies of a particular food or food substitution scenario
• Strategies on methods to perform a RBA, considering all steps or specific steps in the process
• Reviews of potential risks and benefits associated with a food safety issue
• Assessment in foods considering multidisciplinary concerns, including health
• Identification of gaps and future research needs that shape the prospect of RBA


Keywords: Risk-Benefit Assessment, Food Safety, Nutrition, Food Substitutes, Public Health, Risk Communications


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The need to promote diets that are healthy, safe and sustainable is recognized as a public health priority. Strategies and actions need to integrate evidence and methods to evaluate jointly risks and benefits related to nutritional and food safety (including microbiological and toxicological) aspects of food consumption. The application of Risk Benefit Assessment (RBA) methods in nutrition is relatively new and involves various disciplines with different semantics, definitions, study designs and outcome measure needs with the aim to facilitate science‐based decision‐making in food‐related areas towards the development of policies and consumer advice. RBA integrates nutrition, toxicology, microbiology and epidemiology for a comprehensive health impact assessment. It also has the potential to integrate environmental impacts and sustainability issues, and can thus address some of the burning challenges food systems will face. Since the RBA-related research domain has substantially advanced in recent years, it is time to progress in “learning by doing” to promote RBA, harmonize methodologies, perform case- studies and exchange experiences.

This Research Topic aims to:
i. explain the different definitional and efficacy requirements of RBA methods
ii. present new RBA case studies that will demonstrate its feasibility and usefulness in informing policy makers in the areas of food and public health
iii. provide insight into methodological challenges and suggest new strategies to carry out RBA taking into consideration the fields of nutrition, food toxicology and microbiology
iv. identify multidisciplinary issues in food safety and nutrition that would lead to the formulation of novel risk-benefit questions and to identify gaps in data and methods, to guide future research in this area
v. bring together recent research in the field and stimulate activities that would engage RBA modelling in the formulation of future health promoting dietary strategies

This Research Topic will include articles presenting methodological issues, Reviews and Original Research papers. Articles on methodology can cover the whole span from the inception, standardized evidence-based selection of model components, as well as issues emerging during the process. Case-studies addressing foods that have not been assessed through a RBA perspective before are most welcome, as well as diet substitution studies. Moreover, communicating RBA results to the Scientific Community, stakeholders and the general public is also a challenge worth considering.

Sub-themes of interest include (but are not limited to):
• RBA case studies of a particular food or food substitution scenario
• Strategies on methods to perform a RBA, considering all steps or specific steps in the process
• Reviews of potential risks and benefits associated with a food safety issue
• Assessment in foods considering multidisciplinary concerns, including health
• Identification of gaps and future research needs that shape the prospect of RBA


Keywords: Risk-Benefit Assessment, Food Safety, Nutrition, Food Substitutes, Public Health, Risk Communications


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

03 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

03 June 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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