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Mycotoxins

CONTEXT:

MycotoxinsMycotoxins are secondary metabolites of fungi (moulds) that display widely-varying toxic properties (carcinogens, immunosuppressants, hepatotoxic, nephrotoxic, neurotoxic, etc.). Such mycotoxins are capable of contaminating agricultural products (grains, milk) and foodstuffs (cereal products, drinks), thereby impairing their public-health quality.

 

There are over 400 mycotoxins, but only a few of these (about ten) are subject to regulatory controls under European or national legislation on animal feeds and human foodstuffs. Furthermore, other mycotoxins (among which we find emerging mycotoxins) are being studied at the present time in relation to their presence in the food chain, also for their toxicological properties.

 

Deoxynivalenol (DON), ochratoxin A (OTA), zearalenone, toxins T-2 and HT-2 and patulin are the main mycotoxins produced in temperate climates, whereas aflatoxins are characteristic of tropical climates.

Enniatins and beauvericin are typical examples of what we may think of as emerging mycotoxins.


ROLE OF CODA-CERVA :

CODA-CERVA is the national reference laboratory (NRL) for mycotoxins.

As such, it develops new methods of studying mycotoxins in agricultural products and foodstuffs and takes part in research aimed at clarifying the risk represented by mycotoxins in our food. CODA-CERVA organises and takes part in cross-comparison exercises with the aim of checking on and improving standards at laboratories that perform checks as part of official programmes carried out by FASFC (Federal Agency for the Safety of the Food Chain). CODA-CERVA also issues reference material (e.g. foods that are contaminated naturally by certain mycotoxins) as part of the NRL's mission, and with a view to carrying out research, especially into the transfer of mycotoxins from animal feeds to some animal products (milk, meat, eggs).

Lastly, CODA-CERVA is concerned with mitigating measures aimed at counteracting and reducing the impact of mycotoxins on the health of animals and food safety.

 

DEVELOPING NEW METHODS AND SERVICES :

Mycotoxins

A method for multiple analyses has been developed with a view to be able to determine the main mycotoxins in interest using UPLC-MS/MS (e.g. mycotoxins of Fusarium DON, ZEA, T-2 and HT-2) present in cereal products and animal feeds. This method is continuously being extended in order to facilitate analysis of the largest possible number of mycotoxins of interest.

 

A screening method has been developed in order to be able to identify the presence of a very large number of mycotoxins in a wide range of matrices (ensilages, serum, urine, etc).

 

The analytical performance of commercially-available kits for mycotoxin analyses is studied in detail on the basis of information supplied by companies, also on the basis rigorously-controlled experiments carried out at CODA-CERVA. The results of the first study carried out on DON and OTA dosage kits are available on the FASFC website, also via the following link :  DON and OTA


RESEARCH AND SUPPORT TO OFFICIAL BODIES :

CODA-CERVA is involved in a number of research projects dealing with the presence of mycotoxins in food products (e.g. comparisons between organic and conventional agriculture) and in animal feeds (e.g. ensilages).

 

CODA-CERVA has also taken part in studies to describe the toxicological properties of established and emerging mycotoxins (EMRISK project: link to emerging-risks file) and possible interactions with other micro-constituents of food (contaminants, medication residues, active vegetable extracts) (FOODINTER project).

 

Lastly, CODA-CERVA has been particularly involved in the transfer of mycotoxins from animal feeds to animal products, such as meat and eggs (mycotoxpluim project) also the methods that already exist to reduce contamination risks in animal products as far as possible (Mycodex project - and Mycobinders project).

 

TEAM OF SCIENTISTS :

Alfons Callebaut
Philippe Debongnie
Emmanuel Tangni
Jorina Geys
Bart Huybrechts


CODA-CERVA PUBLICATIONS :

2010

Emmanuel K. Tangni , Jean-Claude Motte, Alfons Callebaut, Anne Chandelier, Marnix De Schrijver and Luc Pussemier (2010)

Deoxynivalenol loads in matched pair wheat samples in Belgium: comparison of ELISA VERATOX kit against liquid chromatography

Mycotoxin Research, volume 26 (in press)

Tangni EK, Motte JC, Callebaut A, Pussemier L.

Cross-Reactivity of Antibodies in Some Commercial Deoxynivalenol Test Kits against Some Fusariotoxins

J. Agric. Food Chem 22;58(24):12625-33

Ph. Debongnie and L. Pussemier (2010)

Quantifying in vitro efficiency of mycotoxin binders : BC50 (“Binding Concentration 50”) - case studies : zearalenone on yeasts cell walls (YCW), aflatoxin on clays

World Mycotoxin Forum, Noordwijkerhout, The Netherlands, 8-10 November 2010

TANGNI Emmanuel K., PUSSEMIER Luc, Van HOVE François, DEPOORTER Jurgen, HAESAERT Geert, ROBBENS Johan (2010)

Mouldy status characterisation of maize and grass silages: Adequacy between visual appraisal during collection and categorisation according to ergosterol contents

32th mycotoxin workshop organized by the Mycotoxin Research Society, Copenhagen, 10-12 june 2010

2009

- TANGNI E K, WAEGENEERS N, VAN OVERMEIRE I, GOEYENS L, PUSSEMIER L (2009)
Mycotoxin analyses in some home produced eggs in Belgium reveal small contribution to the total daily intake
Science of the Total Environment 407: 4411-4418

2008

- SERGENT T, RIBONNET L, KOLOSOVA A, GARSOU S, SCHAUT A, DE SAEGER A, VAN PETEGHEM C, LARONDELLE Y, PUSSEMIER L., SCHNEIDER YJ (2008)
Molecular and cellular effects of food contaminants and secondary plant components and their plausible interactions at the intestinal level
Food Chemical Toxicology, 46, 813-841

2007

- HARCZ P, DE TEMMERMAN L, WAEGENEERS N, WILMART O., VROMMAN V., SCHMIT J-F, MOONS E., DE VOGHEL S., SCHNEIDER Y-J, DE SAEGHER S., VAN PETEGHEM C., LARONDELLE Y., PUSSEMIER L (2007).
Contaminants in organically and conventionally produced winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) in Belgium.
Food additives and contaminants, 24 (7) 713-720
- HARCZ P, TANGNI E K, WILMART O , MOONS E , , SCHNEIDER Y-J, DE SAEGHER S, LARONDELLE Y AND PUSSEMIER L (2007).
Contribution of beer to OTA and DON exposure in Belgium.
Food additives and contaminants, 24 (8) 910-916

2006

- PUSSEMIER L., LARONDELLE Y., VAN PETEGHEM C., HUYGHEBAERT A. (2006)
Chemical safety of conventionally and organically produced foodstuffs : a tentative comparison under European conditions.
Food Control, 17, 14-21
- ANSELME M., TANGNI EK, PUSSEMIER L, MOTTE J-C, VAN HOVE F, SCHNEIDER Y-J, VAN PETEGHEM C & LARONDELLE Y (2006)
Comparison of ochratoxin A and deoxynivalenol in organically and conventionally produced beers sold on the Belgian market.
Food Additives and Contaminants , 23(9): 910-918.
- PUSSEMIER L, PIÉRARD J-Y , ANSELME M, TANGNI E.K, MOTTE J-C AND LARONDELLE Y (2006)
Development and application of analytical methods adapted to the determination of mycotoxins in organic and conventional cereals
Food Additives and Contaminants, 23(11), 1208-1218
- TANGNI E. K. AND PUSSEMIER L (2006)
Ergosterol and mycotoxins in grain dusts from cereal storages in Belgium: a preliminary screening survey
Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture , 87 (7), 1263-1270.
- TANGNI E. K. AND PUSSEMIER L (2006)
Ochratoxin A and citrinin loads in stored wheat grains: impact of grain dust and possible prediction using ergosterol measurements
Food Additives and Contaminants 23(2) 181-189