3.1. The principle

Microbial fermentation technology represents a rational means for production of food of high nutritional and hygienic quality, which is also historically proved. Microbial fermentation processes give about ¼ from the overall food production. It comprises foods as bread, sour dough, sour milk and cream, yogurt, cheese, pickles, fermented meet, vinegar, wine and beer. Recent introduction of modern biotechnological approaches in food production requires elaboration of new issues for food safety.

The general principles of safety assessment of GMMs in food with reference to the established principles applied for this purpose are specific to the nature and use of microorganisms in food. These principles are postulated by FAO / WHO; OECD; WHO / ILSI; EC through agreements associated with the safety assessment of novel foods including GMMs and recommendations on use of substantial equivalence. They aim at implementation of integrated stepwise approach and case-by-case study using the concept of substantial equivalence, as well as at development of guidance for the safety assessment process and elaboration of decision trees for determination the extent of testing required in specific cases. According to EC Regulation 1829/2003 the placement of GM food and feed on the market could be authorized after defined scientific assessment of any risks that they could cause on human and animal health as well as for the environment (Directive 2001/18/EC).