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New possibilities for risk assessment: In search of carcinogenic substances in packaging.

So-called NIAS (non-intentionally added substances) can be detected in many materials in contact with food. At the moment, there are no reliable and cost-effective methods for the identification and toxicological evaluation of all known NIAS. Recently, therefore, both the European Parliament and the International Life Science Institute (ILSI) have recommended the use of in vitro bioassays.

Building on the expertise pooled at the OFI for the detection of endocrine disruptors, work is now underway to extend the methodology to other critical hazardous substances. The project MIGRATOX focuses on the development of new methods to facilitate the risk assessment of unintentionally introduced genotoxic substances. Genotoxic substances cause damage to the genetic material of cells, either by altering the genetic code of the DNA (mutation) or by interfering with chromosome structure or cell division. This damage can have negative health effects and contribute to cancer development.

The goal of the project MIGRATOX is to develop new in vitro bioassays for NIAS screening. Simplifying the risk assessment will further enhance the quality of the safety evaluation of food contact materials.

The 5-years-long start-up project is carried out in cooperation with the FH Campus Wien. Special emphasis is placed on close cooperation with major international food and packaging producers to ensure the safety of packaging materials in the long term and to strengthen consumer confidence in the industry.


The research project Migratox is supported by the Austrian Research Promotion Agency FFG as a COIN start-up project. The FH Campus Wien is responsible for the project management.

Sustainability Goals

Sustainable Development Goal: Good Health and Well-being
Sustainable Development Goal: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Mehrkanalpipette - Einsatz im OFI Labor
Fotocredit: OFI

Project duration

- 2023


Dr. Christian Kirchnawy

Project partner



Team Leader Microbiology & Cell Culture

Dr. Christian Kirchnawy
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