EFSA OpenFoodTox Database

The OOFT tool is a copy of the EFSA OpenFoodTox database, as presented by EFSA in the 2020 spreadsheet. The EFSA database can be queried at the EFSA website; this website uses the Microstrategy suite to extract data from the database and present the results in a manner to be understood by toxicological experts. Working with this tool, one can however make some remarks with regard to its use. The first comment refers to the selection of chemical; here one can go for a synonym or substance name. This causes sometimes confusion, as it is not always clear if one is dealing with a synonym name or official name. One can overcome this confusion by searching using the CAS number, but then one should be familiar with that code. The second comment is that the output of the Substance Browser is presented in different blocks, e.g. one block with a list of EFSA outputs, and a separate list of Hazard Characterisation: Reference Points and one for the Hazard Characterisation: Reference Values. As the different data are interlinked one should use a "marker" to connect the rows. Luckily, the Output Id can be used for that. And as a final comment it can be noted, that the lines need for a wide screen, making the output somewhat difficult to assess on a tablet or smartphone.

Online Open Food Tox Tool

To overcome the comments on the EFSA implementation the online system was slightly altered. First the search is updated into the possibility to search for a substance name, or a synonym, or a CAS number or an EC Reference number. So the conclusion whether or not one is dealing with an official substance name or widely used synonym is left to the system. Besides the input can be a partial name or code. So, e.g. input of bisphenol will result in bisphenol A and 2,2'-bisphenol F, but also find 2,2-Bis(4-hydroxyphenyl)propane which is the official name of Bisphenol A.

The results of the search are presented in a list, describing synonyms, the substance name, a component name, CAS and EC numbers, and the Molecular Formula. Here one has to select the substance requested by means of a radiobutton. It should be noted that different compound names can refer to the same substance; e.g. a search for cadmium gives the Cadmium ion and Cadmium(2+) as synonyms for the substance Cadmium (total). As all CAS numbers resp. EC REF numbers here are the same, it can be concluded that the three rows refer to the same substance, i.e. Cadmium (total). In that case each selection will point to the same data.

After pressing Apply the system will present the results for the substance selected, using the fields of the EFSA format, with a minor difference. The fields are identical to those of the EFSA website, but in OOFT the various topics such as EFSA outputs and Hazard Characterisation are presented together in one block. The blocks are ordered by year. Most experts will use the most recently published HBGV as presented in the last block for exposure assessments. Looking to the other blocks can give you some idea about the evolution of a safe level. E.g. for cadmium (total) a TWI of 7 ug per kg body weight per week was assigned in 2004 by EFSA, which was confirmed in 2005. In 2009 however the TWI was lowered down to 2.5 ug, which value was confirmed in 2011.

OOFT will also show another page with additional information present in the EFSA database that is not shown by the online EFSA system. To see these data, one must select one (year) block through its radiobutton and select the [Extended data] button. Then OOFT will show additional data and remarks, such as a direct link to the document, information about the underlying study such as Species and Exposure Route, and Effects and its Endpoint (both for a toxicity and genotoxicity study). Many fields do also show its EFSA code; in this way it is possible to link the data to other EFSA sources and catalogues in other databases or tables.


To start OOFT, you have to select its icon