GARDEN OF PHYSICS: Episode 19 – What do we eat in food?

“What do we eat in food?”
Guest: dr Tijana Milićević

‘Food can be contaminated by various viruses, bacteria, parasites, however, food can also be contaminated by diverse chemicals’, says Dr Tijana Milićević of the Institute of Physics, Belgrade in the nineteenth episode of the popular science video series ‘The Garden of Physics’.

Although the famed classical Greek physician Hippocrates wrote about poisonous plants back in the fifth century BC and his contemporary Euripides recorded a mushroom poisoning of an entire family in one of his plays, food safety was not considered important until the early 20th century. Nowadays, according to the World Health Organization, approximately 600 million people are affected by contaminated food every year.

‘It is very difficult to evade exposure of the human body to chemicals. These effects can only be alleviated’, stated Dr Tijana Milićević in the episode ‘What do we eat in food?’, which explains the origin of various contaminating substances which can be found in animal and plant-based food.

‘If we eat a toxic substance, the entire amount of it will not stay in our organism. There is an amount which is absorbed and the part that is excreted. By simulation of the gastrointestinal tract, it is possible to determine which amounts of toxic compounds and elements remain in the body, and correspondingly, potentially toxic substances can be tested,’ says Dr Milićević.

Realized in cooperation with the portal ’Science Through Stories’, each episode of ’The Garden of Physics’ is dedicated to one of the fundamental topics of modern science, whether it is the greatest secrets of our times or research indicating unexpected horizons in the perception of the world. New episodes are aired every Friday online and they are available on webpages of the Institute of Physics, Belgrade and the portal „Science Through Stories“, as well as on You are welcome to join us.

Authors: Marija Đurić and Slobodan Bubnjević
Scenario: ’Science Through Stories’
Camera/drone: Zoran Veljanoski, Bojan Živojinović (Twotech Solutions)
Production associate: Jovana Nikolić
Directing and editing: Bojan Živojinović

Produced by: Insitute of Physics, Belgrade, 2020