The evaluation of developmental and reproductive toxicity of food contact materials (FCMs) is an important task for food safety. Since traditional experiments are both time-consuming and labor-intensive, only a small number of FCMs have sufficient toxicological data for evaluating their effects on human health. While computational methods such as structural alerts and quantitative structure–activity relationships can serve as first-line tools for the identification of chemicals of high toxicity concern, models with binary outputs and unsatisfied accuracy and coverage prevent the use of computational methods for prioritizing chemicals of high concern. This study proposed a genetic algorithm-based method to develop a weight-of-evidence (WoE) model leveraging complementary methods of structural alerts, quantitative structure–activity relationships and in silico toxicogenomics models for chemical prioritization. The WoE model was applied to evaluate 623 food contact chemicals and identify 26 chemicals of high toxicity concern, where 13 chemicals have been reported to be developmental or reproductive toxic and further experiments are suggested for the remaining 13 chemicals without toxicity data related to developmental and reproductive effects. The proposed WoE model is potentially useful for prioritizing chemicals of high toxicity concern and the methodology may be applied to toxicities other than developmental and reproductive toxicity.
- Alternative method
- Developmental and reproductive toxicity
- Food contact materials
- Genetic algorithm
- Weight of evidence
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis