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Consumption of cereals in the EU-member states

Various consumption data are available from different countries' consumption surveys, but unfortunately not all countries have consumption data available. In 2006 EFSA initiated "The temporary MRL exercise". The goal of this exercise was to identify the highest reported national MRL (Maximum Residue Limits) for each combination of active substance/commodity, and to set harmonized temporary EU MRLs to these highest figures. Before this was possible the temporary EU MRLs had to be risk assessed.

To be able to perform a risk assessment covering all EU citizens', consumption data from all EU MS were collected and reported (4). The consumption data include consumption rates reported by different MS and consumption rates according to different WHO diets. In Table 2 2 the highest chronic consumption rates for the different types of cereals are presented, as well as from which models/MS they originate and the average consumption of all the reported data for the different types of cereals.

Table 2.2:The highest chronic consumption of the different types of cereals reported for an EU-citizen and the average consumption of all reported consumptions
CommodityHighest reported consumption
(g/kg bw/day)
Model/Reporting MSAverage of all reported consumptions
(g/kg bw/day)
Cereals (total)11.89WHO Cluster diet B4.71
Barley1.24IE adult0.17
Buckwheat0.28IE adult0.02
Maize2.47WHO Cluster diet B0.31
Milet0.09WHO Cluster diet D0.01
Oats0.40DK child0.07
Rice0.79PT general population0.30
Rye4.42DK child0.38
Sorghum0.02DE child0.001
Wheat8.54WHO Cluster diet B3.33
Other cerea1.50IT kids/toddler0.08


In Table 2 3 the chronic dietary pesticide intake of cereals in g/person/day for a few MS is presented. The EU citizens represented here both in Table 2 2 and Table 2 3 consume more wheat than any of the other types of cereals. The average of all reported consumption of wheat (3.3 g/kg bw/day in Table 2-2) corresponds to the average of the chronic intakes reported by the different MS (Table 2-3). According to the Danish and German consumption data, rye accounts for the second largest fraction of total daily cereal consumption. Rice accounts for the second largest fraction of total daily cereal consumption for the data covering France and UK.


Table 2 3. The chronic dietary intake of cereals in g/person/day according to models often used for risk assessment of dietary intake.
 Consumption (g/kg bw/day)
 Cereals in totalBarleyBuckwheatMaizeOatRiceRyeWheat
Denmark (5)
Adult (74 kg bw)2.89   0.110.0860.682.0
Children (22 kg. bw)10.41
France (6)
General population (60 kg. bw)3.520.01   0.11 3.28
Toddler (10.6 kg. bw)2.98    0.36 2.62*
Germany (7)
Children age 2-5 (16.5 kg. bw)5.450.
UK (8)
Adults (76 kg. bw)2.090.003L/C0.0030.020.370.011.67
Young children/Toddler (14.5 kg.)4.550.01L/C0.010.050.580.013.94

*The type of commodity stated in the reference is "bread" and it is assumed that all the bread is wheat bread.

Thus, since the cereal consumed in largest amounts is wheat, wheat could also be the type of cereal contributing most to the human exposure to pesticide residues. However, this depends on the frequency and amounts with which residues are found in wheat compared to the other cereal types.

Find more information in the menu below:

Introduction to cereals and feeding stuff


Consumption of cereals in the EU-member states

Pesticides authorised for use in cereals

Pesticides authorised for use on rice

Pesticides often found in cereals in the EU coordinated programme

Intake of pesticides from cereals

Feeding Stuff

Consumption of feeding stuff in EU

Composition of feed

Pesticides authorised for use in feeding stuff

Pesticides residues in animal feeding stuff

MRLs and toxicological data

Feasibility to include the pesticide in multiresidue methods


Download the Report "Cereals and feeding stuff - production, consumption and pesticides"



Published 05-07-2010, 16:08:52


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