Alerts & Profilers

Structural alerts are molecular substructures which have been found to be associated with particular toxicological endpoints. So for example many (but not all) nitro-aromatic compounds are mutagens. Such substructures have become incorporated into computer programs that predict a range of toxicological endpoints and often many such alerts are combined to allow profiling of unknown compounds with respect to those endpoints. The development and refinement of alerts is an ongoing process and studies carried out by TfG are beginning to allow a more selective use based on the performance of ensembles of alerts as used in the OECD QSAR toolbox. The chart shows the accuracy of one set of alerts for six databases containing carcinogens and non-carcinogens. Accuracy of 0.5 is no better than chance whilst 1.0 is totally accurate. More detail available soon......

New Predictive Toxicology Publication

As part of Nick's work for the Food & Environment Research Agency, a paper on "Application of In Silico Modelling to Estimate Toxicity of Migrating Substances from Food Packaging" has been accepted for publication in the Journal of Food and Chemical Toxicology.

This study derived toxicity estimates for a set of  136 chemical migrants from food packaging materials using in silico (computational) modelling and read across approaches. Where available, the predicted results for mutagenicity and carcinogenicity were compared with published experimental data. As the packaging compounds are subject to safety assessment, the migrating substances were more likely to be negative for both the endpoints. A set of structural analogues with positive experimental data for carcinogenicity and/or mutagenicity was therefore used as a positive comparator. The results showed that a weight of evidence assembled from different in silico models and read-across from already-tested structurally similar compounds can provide a rapid and reliable means for rapid screening of new yet-untested intentional or unintentional chemical compounds that may migrate to packaged foodstuffs.

In-silico predictive toxicology screeening

In-silico toxicological prediction is increasingly sought after to replace or refine the use of in-vivo testing of chemicals in a wide range of regulatory contexts including industrial chemicals, pesticides, biocides,cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. In-silico predictions can also be used to screen potential products before undergoing expensive pre-production and production processes.  Screening can range from quick “alert-based” expert system predictions, through SAR/QSAR analysis to read-across and weight of evidence studies. Contact us for more details.

Cockroach Control

Recently there has been an increase in interest in cockroach control advice, in food manufacturing situations.  Ken’s experience in this area has lead to his being contracted for specialist support to one UK company and, most recently, a Dutch food manufacturer.  His challenge is to work with the client and their contracted pest control provider, to improve overall performance.  Ken is completely committed to achieving ERADICATION of cockroaches in food premises, rather than simply population management, using the most advanced pesticide approaches linked to superior cockroach detection techniques. To date, massive improvements in performance have already been delivered

Grain Sampling Guide

Ken has just completed writing a new guide on Grain Sampling.  The booklet was commissioned by HGCA (HGCA is the cereals and oilseeds division of the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, and was formerly known as the Home-Grown Cereals Authority). The guide is designed to be used at all stages in the grain chain, from grower to merchant to final processor, and has thus also been signed off by organisations representing Maltsters, Millers, the Farmers’ Unions, and Trade Assurance Schemes. It can be viewed at


TfG 10 years old

Happy Birthday TfG

The relaunch of the TfG website coincides with the 10th Anniversary of TfG. Nick & Ken look forward to continuing to supply independent scientific advice and technical services in the fields of:

  • Food Safety
  • Computational Chemistry
  • Pest Management
  • Predictive Toxicology
  • Chemical Safety

Please use the Contact Us link above if you are interested in more information.


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