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EIT Food

Consumer and Environmental Safety: Food Packaging and Kitchenware

EIT Food and Università di Torino via FutureLearn


Learn how some kitchenware can affect your health

Food safety is highly regulated. Yet, one blind spot is the migration of molecules from contact materials in kitchenware into food. Particular attention needs to be placed on chemicals present at low doses but acting on the endocrine system over a long time.

On this course, you’ll learn about these endocrine disrupters and their potential impact on human health and the environment.

You’ll evaluate how chemicals can migrate from packaging and slowly affect our endocrine health, and how tests can check for safety. Ultimately, you’ll better understand how we can improve food safety in general.

This course is for anyone interested in potential health risks derived from food packaging and kitchenware, and in particular from chemicals migrating from packaging into food and drink.

This could include healthcare workers, parents, pregnant women, and anyone with an interest in health and food safety.


  • Food packaging, its material and the issue of migration
    • What is packaging? What for?
    • Chemical analyses and the issue of migration
    • The detection of unwanted chemicals in our food
    • Review and reflect
  • Migrating chemicals: is there a health concern?
    • Chemical analyses and biological analyses
    • The need of statistics and epidemiology when dealing with human
    • The suspected action of migrating chemicals on our hormonal health
    • Review and reflect
  • Biotests their use in research and for monitoring
    • Biological tests and current reseach on EDC
    • How is research on endocrine interference proceeding ?
    • Review and reflect
  • Innovations that improve the system
    • The search for novel packaging materials - the bioplastics
    • Who conducts research? Who pays for it?
    • The position of the food industry
  • Consumers, Science, Health and Society
    • The ideal flow of activity to protect health and environment
    • Finding an equilibrium among stakeholders
    • The difficult task of the legislator and of regulatory agencies
    • Final assessment and 'take home message'

Taught by

Giorgio Roberto Merlo



4.8 rating, based on 9 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at FutureLearn based on 17 ratings

Start your review of Consumer and Environmental Safety: Food Packaging and Kitchenware

  • Anonymous
    Provides very useful information on the subject matter. I have changed most of my cookware and how i use them since i started this course. I have also gained an appreciable knowledge on different types of food packaging materials, which helps me now, to make better choices (in terms of my health) of foods to buy based on what they are packaged in. It's a course no one will regret taking.
  • Anonymous
    it is interesting to follow the courses which are presented by this site I found the fundamental studies rich and appreciable is easy and teachers who encourage you to continue to follow your courses and your studies
  • Anonymous
    I think the course is really well done, with nice videos and interviews with competent speakers, nice and clear articles. It is about packaging, but then talks about the environment, the scientific method, the tests and regulations, the role of industry and the role of information, in a nice flowing way.
    Deals with some controversial issues with competence and equolibrium, leaving space for discussions and opinions, but at the same time providing important all key information and facts.
    I enjoyed this course
  • Anonymous
    I am very much enjoying this course which tackles the issues of food safety and packaging safety. It is scientific and it is extremely well explained to the layman. There are some entertaining grammatical bits but on the whole the course is honest and vital and I am now going to week five, the last week, with so much knowledge about the subject. I wish I were 40 years younger and could get a career in this field. Well done to the University of Turino for this beautiful course.
  • Anonymous
    First class, a little dodgy on the translating and English language but it comes from Turin and this has no effect on the clarity of the explanations which are so clearly made about complicated scientific processes and pratices. I am really enjoying this course and the chance to talk about the hot subjects of ecology, environmentalism and nutrition for the world. For anyone wanting to study in this area it is extremely good.
  • Anonymous
    This course is the one I have been looking for since the seventies. Now the problems are becoming evident the course takes you through foodstuffs, additive, packaging, travelling through technology, biosciences and all explained in a very understandable way. This is the most relevant course to today I have found for a while. Ample research papers, videos and evidence to back up the matter under discussion. Love it.
  • Anonymous
    the course is simple and interesting. there are many videos (with trascription) and a lot of extra materials. the point of view is neutral.
  • Anonymous
    It is a very rewarding course with easy-to-understand explanation about FCM. I have learnt a lot from the presentations and feedback of mentors.
  • Anonymous
    I like the course. I think it contains very good information and that it is clearly stated. I'm glad I joined it.

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