Wageningen Food Safety Research's chemical contamination research can be divided into two categories: contaminants and veterinary drugs.

Environmental and process contaminants

Dioxins, PFASs, PAHs and radioactive substances are examples of environmental contaminants. Process contaminants can end up in foodstuffs during the production process, such as acrylamide (during baking or frying), furans and MCPD esters.

Wageningen Food Safety Research is at the vanguard of developing and applying analytical methods to detect and identify contaminants. Our ability to identify unknown contaminants is steadily improving, aided by the use of techniques such as modern mass spectrometry. Wageningen Food Safety Research also develops bio-assays, which can indicate the presence of a substance based on its effects.

Risks of contaminants

In addition, Wageningen Food Safety Research investigates the risks associated with contaminants, by using methods such as toxicogenomics and carry over studies. Toxicogenomics methods are also used to develop new technologies to replace and limit the use of laboratory animals. This technology shows us the effects of a substance on gene expression and gives us an indication of the possible effects and risks associated with the substance.


Over the past years Wageningen Food Safety Research has played an important role in identifying the source of the contamination and preventing contaminated products from being introduced into the food chain.