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Mycotoxin contamination of regular and "organic" foodstuffs

Research project CP/30 (Research action CP)


Persons :


Description :

Context

More than 200 different mycotoxins have been identified but the list is not exhaustive. Currently, only a few of them are sporadically or systematically investigated in a limited number of foodstuffs; the methods of detection are actually complexe. The laws concerning the maximal tolerated amounts in foodstuffs differ in the European Union, in spite of the wish to harmonize these laws.

The project is concerned with the mycotoxin problem in regular and organic foodstuffs. Its aim is to provide the public authorities with contamination data and analytical tools for the evaluation and management of the food safety risks generated by the mycotoxins.


Project description

Objectives

The project aims to:

- generate a database allowing the evaluation of the mycotoxin contamination of regular and organic foodstuffs in Belgium;
- develop reliable and powerful tools for the regular and effective control of mycotoxin in food products.

At the end, the project must lead to the creation of a permanent Reference Centre to ensure the maintenance of newly developed analytical methods, as well as the management of the database and the collection of reference samples.


Methodology

The project will focus on three mycotoxins ( Ochratoxin A, Deoxynivalenol, Fumonisin B1) in four kinds of food matrices derived from cereals (beer, wholemeal bread, pasta, breakfast cereals). Various detection and quantification methods will be developed and compared for each selected foodstuff: validated analytical methods; rapid immunoenzymatic methods; multi-mycotoxin chromatographic methods; biological detection methods.
The multi-mycotoxin methods are analytical tools allowing simultaneous quantification of several mycotoxins. Currently, the VAR develops a multi-mycotoxin method for cereals as follows: non-specific extraction, non-specific purification and liquid chromatographic analyses (HPLC and Capillary Electrophoresis) using different kinds of detection (fluorescence and U.V.).

It seems increasingly necessary to develop faster and more practical immunological assays than conventional Enzyme-Linked ImmunoSorbent Assays (ELISA). The Laboratory of Food Analysis of Ghent University has developed 3 immunoassay fieldtests (Dipstick Enzyme Immunoassay, Flow-Through Enzyme Immunoassay, Solid Phase Column-Based Immunoassay).

The objective is also to set up a biological method allowing to evaluate the cytotoxicity related to the presence of mycotoxins in food extracts. The direct cytotoxicity of mycotoxins will be established on several animal cell types representative for the major target organs in humans. Indirect cytotoxicity will be assayed on the intestinal function, as primary site of absorption. Further assays could be done on the hepatic function with other human cells.


Interaction between the different partners

The Unit of Biochemistry of Nutrition, the co-ordination of the project, is in charge of the field prospecting and settlement of a preliminary sample collection, and the optimisation of sampling and analysis strategies.
It is in charge of the validation of the reference methods for the three mycotoxins in the different food matrices.
The three other partners are in charge of the one of the alternative methods.


Expected results

Several goals are expected in this project:
- methodological improvements of rapid and reliable alternative methods of mycotoxin detection in the selected food matrices;
- creation and management of a database and of the collection of reference samples;
- comparison between the regular and the organic food chains.

Furthermore, the project must lead to the creation of a permanent Reference Centre, that will ensure the maintenance of newly developed analytical methods, as well as the management of the database and of the collection of reference samples. The sampling and developed analytical strategies can be used for the elaboration of an effective policy for the permanent monitoring of food in Belgium.


Partners

Activities


UCL - BNUT: The Unit of Biochemistry of Nutrition has acquired the methods for the measurement of several important mycotoxins in a large number of foodstuffs, and is also performing physiological studies on the transport, metabolism and toxicological effects of some mycotoxins.

VAR: its know-how about both gas and liquid chromathography will be used and the departement has a lot of experience in the field of chemical contaminants.

RUG: the Laboratory of Food Analysis has experience in rapid immunoassay development in the field of mycotoxin detection and screening of mainstream cereals grains and other foodstuffs.

UCL - BIOC: previous work allowed to set up and validate a cell culture system as in vitro model of the human intestinal barrier. With such a model, several distinct phenomena are investigated : absorption, interaction of several substances...


Coordinates/Details

Université catholique de Louvain
Unité de Biochimie de la nutrition (BNUT)
Professor Yvan Larondelle (co-ordinator)
Place Croix du Sud, 2 bte 8
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Tel: +32 (0)10 47 37 35; Fax: +32 (0)10 47 37 28; e-mail: larondelle@bnut.ucl.ac.be

Centre d’étude et de recherche vétérinaires et agrochimiques (CERVA/CODA)
Doctor Jean-Claude Motte
Administration: Groeselenberg 99, B-1180 Bruxelles
Research site: Leuvensesteenweg 17, B-3080 Tervuren
Tel: +32 (0)2 379 04 00; Fax: +32 (0)2 379 04 01; e-mail: info@var.fgov.be

Ghent University
Laboratory of Food Analysis
Professor Carlos Van Peteghem
Harelbekestraat 72
B-9000 Ghent
Tel: +32 (0)9 264 81 15; Fax: +32 (0)9 264 81 99; e-mail: carlos.vanpeteghem@rug.ac.be

Université catholique de Louvain
Laboratoire de biochimie cellulaire (BIOC)
Profesor Yves-Jacques Schneider
Place Louis Pasteur, 1
B-1348 Louvain-la-Neuve
Tel: +32 (0)10 47 27 91; Fax: +32 (0)10 47 48 95; e-mail: yjs@bioc.ucl.ac.be


Users Committee

- Hugo Baert - Union Nationale Interprofessionnelle des Transformateurs et Distributeurs de Produits de l'Agriculture Biologique - Sint-Agatha-Rode
- Luc Beernaert - Agence Fédérale pour la Sécurité de la Chaîne Alimentaire - Bruxelles
- Jean-Marie Beguin - Centre de Recherche et d'Information des Organisations de Consommateurs (CRIOC-OIVO) - Bruxelles
- Michel Brichet - Confédération des Brasseries de Belgique - Centre technique et scientifique de la brasserie, de la malterie et des industries connexes - Bruxelles
- Xavier De Cuyper - Agence Fédérale pour la Sécurité de la Chaîne Alimentaire - Bruxelles
- Lambert de Wijngaert - Confédération des Brasseries de Belgique - Bruxelles
- Yvan Dejaegher - Beroepsvereniging van de mengvoederfabrikanten (BEMEFA vzw) - Brussel
- Bruno Greindl - AGRIBIO - Havelange
- Pirmez Hesmann - AGRIBIO - Havelange
- Luc Mohimont - Agence Fédérale pour la Sécurité de la Chaîne Alimentaire - Bruxelles
- Guy Temmerman - Federaal Agentschap voor de Veiligheid van de Voedselketen - Brussel
- Jean Van de Put - Delhaize Le Lion sa - Zellik
- Karyn Van Den Maagdenberg - Beroepsvereniging van de mengvoederfabrikanten (BEMEFA vzw) - Brussel
- Ariane Van der Stappen - Agence Fédérale pour la Sécurité de la Chaîne Alimentaire - Bruxelles
- Marc Vandercammen - Centre de Recherche et d'Information des Organisations de Consommateurs (CRIOC-OIVO) - Bruxelles
- Christine Vinkx - FOD Volksgezondheid, Veiligheid van de Voedselketen en Leefmilieu - Algemene Eetwareninspectie - Brussel


Documentation :

Mycotoxin contamination of regular and "organic" foodstuffs : final report  Larondelle, Y. - Peeters, Johan - Motte, Jean-Claude ... et al  Brussels : Belgian Science Policy, 2005 (SP1519)
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