How to run a dietary assessment

Step 1 – How to set up a new dietary assessment

To set up a new assessment, navigate to the folder where you wish to store it, click on create in the top right corner and then select Assessment from the dropdown menu.
The first thing to do is to assign a proper name to the assessment. For this tutorial, type Test dietary assessment in the input field at the top of the New Assessment window or in the Text space at the top of the right-side panel.

The first choice to be made regards the type of assessment to be run. There are two assessment types plus a further option you can choose from:

  • Dietary
  • Residential
  • Exposure only

The first two radio buttons define the type of exposure analysis to be carried out. The check-box Exposure only determines if the calculations to determine the toxicology risk must be performed or not; when selected, these calculation are not carried out and the assessment results will contain only the exposure levels. For this tutorial, select only Dietary.
The second choice to be made in the first step of the wizard regards the exposure duration or time-frame. You can choose between the following time-frames:

  • Chronic
  • Cancer
  • Acute
  • Multi-day
  • Within-day

Please refer to the Glossary page for more information on the time frames.
Select Chronic and click wizard-next or on Population in the sidebar.

Step 2 – Select the demographics

The wizard contains as default populations the list of the regulatory populations determined by the guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency. You can choose a single population or any combination of these populations. It is also possible to create custom populations to be analysed in the dietary assessment in case none of the default populations satisfies the user’s needs. Please refer to the Populations page for more information on how to create a custom population.

For this tutorial, select the population Children 1-2 then click wizard-next or on Chemical/Toxicology in the sidebar.

Step 3 – Select the chemical / toxicology data

Please refer to the page How to create a new table to create a new chemical table. For this tutorial, create a chemical table with the following data into the My Data folder call the table Test Chemical Table

population chemical name CAS number route time frame POD uncertainty factor absorption factor Q* decay factor
Children 1-2 Chemical X 1111-11-11 Oral Chronic 0.5 100 1

Insert a chemical table in the dietary assessment

The assessment wizard does not contain a default chemical table; you have to select the toxicology/chemical data you want to use. Click on Select a file which is in the top right corner of the white space.

A pop-up window opens; this window allows you to browse the folders in the software and select the appropriate chemical table. In this example, the chemical table Test Chemical Table was saved in the My Data folder. Click on this folder, select Test Chemical Table and then click on select-green

Now you are back in the assessment wizard where there are two new tabs called Chemicals and Toxicology on the right side of the Chemical / Toxicology step. The tab Chemicals contains the list of the unique chemical names included in the chemical table just selected. In this example, there is only one chemical called Chemical X. In the Aggregate assessment you are allowed to select only one chemical; click on the check-box beside Chemical X to select it.

Click on Toxicology. The wizard presents you with the rows of the chemical table that are automatically selected by the program. Only the toxicology data related to the populations, time-frame and chemicals chosen in the previous steps of the assessment wizard are deemed relevant.

When you are happy with the selection of the chemical and toxicology information, click on wizard-next or on Foods in the sidebar.

Step 4 – Select the food data

The Foods step of the dietary assessment requires two input tables:

  • Foods table
  • Residue Concentration table

Please refer to the page How to create a new table to create these two tables. This section of the manual presents an example of each.

Create a new residue concentration table

Create a new Residue Concentration table called Test Residue Conc in the My Data folder with the following data:

Sample ID CAS number Concentration LOD
1 1111-11-11 0 0.1
2 1111-11-11 0 0.1
3 1111-11-11 0 0.1
4 1111-11-11 0 0.3
5 1111-11-11 0 0.3
6 1111-11-11 0 0.3
7 1111-11-11 0 0.3
8 1111-11-11 0 0.3
9 1111-11-11 0 0.3
10 1111-11-11 2.3 2
11 1111-11-11 2.4 2
12 1111-11-11 2.9 2

Create a new food table

For this tutorial, create a Foods table with the following data in the My Data folder and call it Test Food Table

Food Code SFC Code CAS number Residue source Residue value Perc Crop treated MF 1 MF 2 MF 3
1100008000 211 1111-11-11 Values 5 0.5 1 2 3
1100266001 240 1111-11-11 Field 0.2 0.6 1 1
2403280000 130 1111-11-11 Monitoring 0.2 0.2 1 0.5

The Field and Monitoring residue data require a distribution of residue concentration values in the column Residue Value. The distribution of residue concentration is saved in the Residue Concentration tables. Move the cursor of the mouse over the residue value of the Field row and click in the Residue Value column. A pop-up window opens that lets you browse among the folders previously created in CARES NG®. In this example, the residue concentration table Test Residue Conc is saved in the My Data folder; click on the name of this folder and select the table of interest, then click on select-green

Now you are back in the Test Food Table; the cell Residue Value of the Field data contains the link to the residue concentration table.

It is possible to change the residue values of the other Field and Monitoring data by repeating the above process row by row. However it is not necessary to repeat this process if you want to use the same residue concentration table throughout the food table. You can select the cell Residue Value of the first Field value, press CRTL+C, select the cells you want to change and then press CTRL+V.

Once you have copied and pasted the link to the Residue Concentration table in all the rows containing Field and Monitoring values and insert a numeric value for Values residues, the Test Food Table is ready to be used in the dietary assessment. To make sure all the data provided are in the correct form, look at the top right corner of the table; you should not see the Validate Data button. If this is not the case, click on it to check out the list of the errors.

Insert a Foods table in the dietary assessment

The Foods step of the dietary assessment presents you with a list of choices you are required to make to run the assessment. Firstly, you have to choose the Foods table to be used in the assessment wizard. In order to do that, click on Select a residue table.

The usual pop-up window opens and you can now select the appropriate Foods table. Click on the My Data folder, select Test Food Table and then click on select-green
You are then required to make the following choices by selecting or not the items in this checklist:

  • Include PCT: when selected, the Percentage of Crop Treated provided in the Foods table will be taken into account in the calculation of the residue values. Otherwise the PCT will be considered equal to 1 (the default value) regardless of the values provided in the input Foods table
  • Include Processing Factors: when selected, the residue values provided in the column Residue Value of the Foods table will be multiplied times the Modification Factors of the same table
  • Apply LOD Rules: please refer to the page LOD rules for more information on this option

For this tutorial, select all three options and click on wizard-next or on Statistics in the sidebar.

Step 5 – Select the calculations and statistics

This page contains a list of checkboxes that give you the capability to customize the output of the dietary assessment. The list changes according to the options selected in the previous steps of the wizard. In particular, it depends on the type of assessment and the time-frame chosen in the first step of the wizard. Please refer to the Statistics page for more information.

To continue the example of this tutorial, you are presented with the following check-boxes:

  • Include absolute exposure
  • Margin of Exposure (MOE)
  • Hazard Index (HI)
  • Aggregate Population Adjusted Dose (aPAD)
  • Include Intermediate Calculations

Select all of them apart from Include Intermediate Calculations.

Click on the button run-assessment in the right bottom corner of the assessment wizard. The assessment wizard automatically closes up and you are back in the folder where you have created the assessment. The new assessment is in the list of the assessments present in the folder. The assessment has a tag beside its name, as shown below, the job running area appears in the top right of the screen.

When the job running area disappears, the assessment run is finished. If you click on the notification area comic-baloon a drop-down will be opened with the list of all the activities performed so far in the software (running assessments, importing tables, etc.). The activity related to the run of the assessment “Test Assessment” is the first in the list. The assessment can be in one of the two following states:

  • Assessment Completed: no errors occurred during the run and now you can open the assessment and see the results by clicking on open-assessment
  • Assessment Failed: an error occurred during the run and the program was not able to calculate the results. It is possible to see a summary of the errors by clicking on view-report

Step 6 – Inspect the output

After the assessment runs successfully, you can inspect the output. The structure of the output is described in the Output page.
When you open the assessment output you are presented with the table Dietary exposure results.

You can check the results in two ways:

  • Inside the CARES NG® program by scrolling through the rows of the results table.
  • Outside the CARES NG® program by downloading the results table as a csv file and opening it in an Excel spreadsheet.

In order to download the Dietary exposure results table, click on inputs link on the top right corner. In the section Export Tables click on results-download; a pop-up window opens giving you the possibility to change the settings of the csv file and to download the tables. When you are happy with the settings, click download-green