Risk assessment of herbal food supplements and teas

Herbal food supplements and teas are widely used and marketed. However, the safety of these herbal preparations does not need to be addressed before they enter the market. Different botanical species in the herbal preparations may contain a variety of toxic and even genotoxic and carcinogenic natural toxins such as the alkenylbenzenes (estragole, methyleugenol, safrole and others), aristolochic acids or pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Our research on this topic is oriented at quantifying the levels of genotoxic carcinogenic ingredients of concern in selected herbal preparations by advanced chemical analytical methods followed by a risk assessment for the human population. The projects also include risk assessment for different populations (Chinese versus Caucasian), or the effect of differences in lifestyle or genetic background for the resulting risks.

The research topics under this theme are as follows:

Risks associated with pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) in botanicals and botanical preparations including especially herbal teas and plant food supplements (PFS)

  • PhD: Lu Chen; promotion in 2019
  • Supervisor: Ivonne Rietjens

Safety and risk assessment of botanicals and botanical preparations

  • PhD: Jia Ning; promotion in 2019
  • Supervisor: Ivonne Rietjens

Risk and Safety Assessment of Natural Ingredients in Food in Indonesia

  • PhD: Suparmi; promotion in 2020
  • Supervisor: Ivonne Rietjens

Risk assessment of aphrodisiac herbal products from the Ghanaian market

  • PhD: Felicia Akuamoa; promotion in 2021
  • Supervisor: Ivonne Rietjens
Nutritional supplements