Risk-ranking of chemical hazards in plant-based burgers: An exploratory case study on recipe formulations

E.D. van Asselt*, M. Focker, R.G. Hobé, J.L. Banach

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Due to the increased popularity of plant-based products, new alternatives for animal-derived products are being developed. Before market introduction, food business operators (FBOs) should identify food safety hazards for these plant-based products to protect consumer health. A wide range of chemical hazards may be present in the ingredients used for these products. Ranking the hazards will help FBOs to focus on the most relevant ones and identify the most optimal recipe for such products. This study provides a two-tiered ranking approach. First, all potential hazards were identified based on their presence in the crop, detection above European Union (EU) legal limits, data gaps, and potential health risks. Second, a risk ratio method was applied for the most relevant hazards based on the chemical hazard in the crop, processing factors to establish (protein) ingredients, consumption data, and health-based guidance values. This structured approach was applied to a case study on plant-based burgers using five example recipes, which showed it was capable of comparing various recipes and indicated an optimal recipe to produce plant-based burgers with minimised food safety risks. As such, it can be used as a safe-by-design approach in the early development of new plant-based alternatives.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110365
JournalFood Control
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2024


  • Food safety
  • Plant-based meat alternatives
  • Processing
  • Protein
  • Risk-based


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