Mycotoxin testing: ready for this year's harvest?

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Mycotoxin testing: ready for this year’s harvest?

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                                                                                                   Mycotoxin testing                       Feature             Feature                                       Mycotoxin testing

 Mycotoxin testing:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 wrongful acceptance (Consumer Risk), sampling             monitoring their CCPs, with results compara-
                                                                                                                                                                    Challenges of Mycotoxins :                                                                   may need increasing. The choice of method can             ble to more specialist testing by HPLC.8,9
                                                                                                                                                                    Predicting harvest conditions                                                                therefore be influenced by the number of sam-                 There are broadly two other types of
                                                                                                                                                                    Assessing the risks from single and                                                          ples to be tested. When there is a set amount             commercially available methods for detecting
                                                                                                                                                                    multiple toxins                                                                              of money available, the decision is whether to            mycotoxins that provide even faster determi-
                                                                                                                                                                    Limiting their financial impact

  ready for this year's harvest?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 choose a low-cost, on-site test capable of analys-        nation, which are very useful especially at the
                                                                                                                                                                    Meeting new legal safety limits
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 ing many samples versus testing fewer samples             point of reception for raw materials.
                                                                                                                                                                    Maximising international trade
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 by more expensive outsourced analysis.                        Firstly, there are those based on detecting
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           the natural fluorescence of the toxins, such as
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Mycotoxin methods for HACCP                               the FluoroQuant® Afla test kit. This test has
                                                                                          by Richard Fielder, Romer Labs, UK
                                                                                                                                                                   Testing for mycotoxins generally consists                                                     monitoring                                                just been adopted for the next five years by
                                                                                                                                                               of three steps:                                                                                        Some of the fastest and most affordable              USDA’s grain inspection (FGIS) to test corn.
                                                                                                                                                                1: several small samples are taken at                                                            methods used are generally those based on                     FluoroQuant® is simple and quick to perform,
                                                                                                                                                                     random from the lot and pooled                                                              ELISA technology.                                         taking just five minutes after sample extraction
                                                                                                                                                                     into one larger ‘lot sample’                                                                     ELISAs utilise antibody reactions in wells           using sample clean-up columns and a reader.
                                                                                                                                                                2: the entire lot sample is ground to a                                                          to provide quantitative results and are suit-                 Secondly, there are other immunological-
                                                                                                                                                                     fine particle size and a representa-                                                        able for many sample types. In common with                based methods (like ELISA), that are per-
                                                                                                                                                                     tive subsample, the ‘analytical sam-                                                        all methods, it is important to ensure that               formed using a strip type format which indi-
                                                                                                                                                                     ple’, is removed for analysis and                                                           the individual ELISA kit is validated for the             cates the presence or absence of a particular
                                                                                                                                                                3: the mycotoxins are extracted from the                                                         mycotoxin and commodity in question, so it                mycotoxin with reference to a cut-off point.
                                                                                                                                                                     analytical sample and finally determined                                                    is ‘fit for purpose’.                                         Romer Labs® has the AgraStrip® series of

       anaging the risks posed                        Nonetheless, these contaminants can also         strain, the nutrient source being inadequate,            From the risk perspective, if the producer                                                            Romer Labs® has over 80 validations for its          lateral flow devices (LFDs) for determining
       by mycotoxins in the                        be detected in products of animal origin such       or because the environmental conditions are                   wishes to avoid the chance of reject-                                                       AgraQuant® ELISA kits with different sample               aflatoxins and deoxynivalenol (DON) in dif-
       food supply chain is both                   as milk, meat, eggs, and plant derived products     not favourable for generating the mycotoxin                   ing an acceptable lot (Producer Risk),                                                      matrices. After sample preparation the ELISAs             ferent products such as corn, raisins, soy, nuts,
complex and difficult to predict.                  such as coffee, wine, dried fruit, etc. The vari-   in question.                                                  sampling may need optimising.                                                               take between 15 and 25 minutes to perform                 wheat, etc.
                                                   ety of commodities, feeds and foods that can            In addition to a possible lack of correlation           If the producer wishes to avoid the chance of                                                 and are frequently used by industries for                     Three cut-off levels are available for afla-
    How will this year compare to last year        be contaminated by mycotoxins is as vast as         between the presence of potentially toxi-
for the grain and feed producers and millers?      the type of contaminating mycotoxins (more          genic fungi and mycotoxins in a particular food
    Constant revisions are needed to our           than 300 are known).                                product, the disadvantage of these methods is
assessments. For example, the European                Therefore, establishing a model for a            the time required.
trade organisation COCERAL have recently           mycotoxin control system in the food supply             Obtaining the end results for a single
made reductions to their harvest forecasts for     chain is no simple task.                            isolated strain can take between two to three
the main grain and oilseed crops in the EU.                                                            weeks.
    Meanwhile the UK Met office has scrapped       Monitoring methods: fungal or                           However, when monitoring a CCP in the
seasonal weather forecasts, replacing them         mycotoxin analysis?                                 supply chain real time measurements are
with fortnightly and monthly ones. The task            As already mentioned, despite being             required. These methods are therefore more
is no different for the agronomist and food        chemical substances mycotoxins are consid-          applicable to performing a hazard analysis,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Focus on Opportunities for Proteins in
technologist who need to continually assess        ered biological hazards. This could lead us to      than to monitoring a HACCP system once it                                                                       Health & Nutrition
the risks of not just single but multiple fungal   believe that the correct methods for monitor-       is implemented.
toxins that need to be controlled at every         ing critical control points (CCP) are those that                                                                                                                    2nd Food Protein innovation
stage of the supply chain.                         detect, quantify, identify and classify fungi.      Method choice and sampling                                                                                      Conference (FPi 2010)
                                                       However, we must consider that in many              The analytical method selected depends
A mycotoxin-based HACCP                            cases the different processes that eliminate        on a number of factors such as the type
system                                             fungi from commodities / ingredients will           of sample, the levels of mycotoxins to be
    The object of this article is to present       result in mycotoxins remaining throughout           detected, the control point to be monitored
suitable options for monitoring critical con-      the food processing chain because of their          and the availability of technological, eco-
trol points in a mycotoxin-based HACCP             chemical stability.                                 nomical and human resources to perform the
system. Before doing so, it is necessary to            In other situations, potential mycotoxigenic    determination.3
clarify certain concepts, especially regarding     fungi might be detected but are not produc-             For all such methods the first step of
the characterisation of hazardous mycotoxins.      ing toxins due to them being a nonproducing         sample collection and preparation is the most
    Although mycotoxins are chemical com-                                                              critical to determining what is detected and
pounds that appear as residues in com-                                                                 what is not.                                           15 June 2010                       Pre-Conference tour Unilever Food & Health Research Institute
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Visit Unilever Research Pilot Plant and Sensory Labs
modities, ingredients, feeds and food, they          Key Analytical Questions :                            In fact, nearly 90 percent of the error associ-
are considered biological hazards rather than        Test on-site or outsource ?                       ated with mycotoxin assays can be attributed           16 & 17 June 2010                  2nd FPi 2010 Conference, Rotterdam (Netherlands)
chemical hazards because their presence is a         Sampling: how & how many ?                        to how the original sample was collected. This                                            a Protein Innovation Network (PIN) meeting, by Bridge2Food!

direct consequence of fungal contamination           Which: toxins, test, samples ?                    is because only a few percent of kernels in
                                                                                                                                                              Listen to speakers from Food Industry Leaders such as Unilever, General Mills, and Leading Protein Ingredients Suppliers such as DSM.
                                                                                                                                                              FPi 2008 delegates included: Nestlé, Barilla, Alpro, Heinz, VSI, Nandi Proteins, Danone, DSM, Cargill, Solae, Campbells, General Mills,
                                                     What target levels for action ?                                                                          Protient, Tivall, Stockmeyer, FrieslandFoods Campina, Gelita, Carlsberg and many others.
at some point in the system.1,2                                                                        a contaminated lot may contain mycotoxins,
                                                     How much will it cost ?
    Cereals and nuts are the most sensitive                                                            and these contaminated kernels are usually not         Excellent opportunity for networking in protein industry!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Romer Labs ® UK Ltd - Ireland & UK
                                                     How reliable ?
foods to mycotoxin contamination.                                                                      evenly distributed within the lot of grains. 4,5,6,7                                                                                                                                                         Tel: +44 845 519 5010, Fax: +44 1745 827150
                                                                                                                                                              E: | Ph: +31 30 225 2060 | I:                                                                            e-Mail:

26 | July - august 2010                                                                                           Grain  &feed millinG technoloGy              Grain        &feed millinG technoloGy                                                                          PREVIOUS PAGE             NEXT PAGE                                    July - august 2010 | 27
                                                                                                         Mycotoxin testing                              Feature                                                                                                          COMMODITIES
                                                                                                                                                                                R-Biopharm Rhône Ltd.

                                                                                                                                                                                Simple pushbutton
                                                    laboratories with analytical systems that can                Design of sampling plans for mycotoxins in food                 abandoned acres. With some trade estimates conditions that were producing some possible Canadian, Black Sea or European
  EU Mycotoxin Legislation :                        certify the value of the samples.                            and feeds. Natural Toxins, 3, 257-262.                          ranging down to as little as 7.3m ha (versus worryingly low proteins. These seem to losses not yet factored in, this would not
  No. 1881/2006 – food                                  This is also performed when want-                    5. Richard J (2000). Sampling and Sample Preparation                last year’s 9.9m), there is talk of a total wheat have improved somewhat since the harvest make much of a dent in the huge 2010/11
  No. 105/2010 – food (New)
  No. 1126/2007 – food
  No. 2003/100/EC – feed
                                                    ing to confirm results that are very close
                                                    to the acceptance or rejection level for
                                                                                                                 for Mycotoxin Analysis. RomerTM Labs’ Guide to
                                                                                                                 Mycotoxins, 2.                                                 for digital results!
                                                                                                                                                                                 crop as low as 18.5m compared with recent moved north under clearer skies. The US surplus stock which the IGC estimated over
                                                                                                                                                                                 hopes of 24.5m and last year’s 26.5m tonnes. soft red winter harvest was also challenged 200m tonnes in late June. Overall, then, wheat
                                                    the critical limits established. These labo-             6. Whitaker TB, Dowell FE, Hagler WM, Giesbrecht                    As always with Canada, the proportion of by showers causing quality problems including
  No. 401/2006 - food
                                                                                                                                                                                RIDA®QUICK SCAN
                                                    ratories use chromatographic techniques,                     FG, and Wu J (1994). Variability associated                     top grade bread wheats in the total harvest greater incidence of vomitoxin in some states.
  Recommendations:                                  HPLC, TLC, LC-MS/MS, GC-ECD, which                           with sampling, sample preparation and chemical                  will depend on weather in the run up to crop           Among other key milling wheat producers,
  2006/576/EC – feed                                are highly sensitive and precise. If pos-                    testing of farmers’ stock peanuts. J Assoc Off Anal             maturity and harvest. However, on current Australia still seems to be on course for its
  2006/583/EC – cereals                             sible, the laboratory should be accredited                   Chem Intl, 77, 107-116.                                         pointers, supply from this source does look third large crop in a row with a developing
  2003/598/EC – food
                                                    (for example ISO17025) or have a good                    7 Whitaker TB (2003). Standardisation of mycotoxin                  likely to fall and this has already driven export La Nina climate phase expected to bring
                                                    Quality Assurance system to ensure that                      sampling procedures: an urgent necessity. Food                  prices of CWRS sharply higher.                       adequate rains. Argentina sowed a lot more
                                                    their results are accurate and that trained                  Control, 14, 233-237.                                              Offsetting that slightly, the USDA did wheat for its next crop and could expand
toxins in-line with legislative limits: 4ppb,      analysts are competent to perform the                     8. Zheng Z., Humphrey C., King R.S., Richard J.L. Validation        keep its US spring wheat sowing forecast output to about 12/14m tonnes from last
10ppb and 20ppb. This allows one to choose         method employed.                                              of an ELISA test kit for the detection of total aflatoxins      at a surprisingly high 5.63m ha against trade year’s unsually poor 9.6m. If the growing
the most appropriate LFD according to the              Romer Labs® operates laboratories on                      in grain and grain products by comparison with HPLC.            ideas it would lop this figure. This crop is in For evaluation of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      season goes well, this important breadwheat supplies should be more than adequate to
commodity and its end use.                         three continents, in Singapore, the USA and                   Mycopathologia (2005) 159: 255-263.                             the best condition seen for many years and, RIDA®QUICK SCANas much for export meet demand – though some questions about
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      supplier could have twice
    For example, the AgraStrip® Afla 4ppb          Austria, all of which are certified (or are in            9. Zheng Z., Hanneken J., Houchins D., King R.S.,                   if the weather continues to co-operate, it as last year’s measly 4.5m.                            quality remain to be answered by harvests in
is used for analysing almonds exported to          process of certification) under the interna-                  Lee P., Richard J.L. Validation of an ELISA test                should yield well in terms of both quantity and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Mycotoxin tests.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Turning briefly to demand, world wheat some key producing countries.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   objective     quantitative       precise
the European Community. Some LFDs are              tional norm ISO17025 and have the most                        kit for the detection of Ochratoxin A in several                quality. However, the US hard breadwheat consumption is expected by the International
quantitative rather than qualitative when used     advanced technology, including LC-MS/MS.                      foods commodities by comparison with HPLC.                      export benchmark (DNS) is still rising to Grains Council to rise from 649m to 658m
                                                                                                                                                                                R-Biopharmthreat to Canada’s crop, reaching tonnes, largely in the feed sector and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Less maize supply than
with an optical reader. Romer has recently                                                                       Mycopathologia (2005) 159: 265-272.                             reflect the Rhône Ltd.
improved its AgraStrip® XReader when test-         Preparation for 2010 harvest                              10. Zheng Z., Richard J.L., Binder H. A review of                  Block 10 Todd Campus                 Phone: +44
                                                                                                                                                                                 a 19-week high of $296/tonne in mid-July. (0) 141 945 2924 Asia. That should be easily
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      especially in                                 thought
                                                                                                                                                                                West of Scotland Science Park        Fax:    +44 (0) 141 945 2925
ing for DON, it provides instant (semi-)               Monitoring mycotoxins throughout the                      rapid methods for the analysis of mycotoxin.                       US hard red winter bread wheat – the accommodated if the crop reached the IGC’s                  Two key factors caused a shift of emphasis in
                                                                                                                                                                                Acre Road, Glasgow         
quantitative results with greater accuracy, for    production chain is one safety measure.                       Mycopathologia (2006) 161: 261-273.                             largest component of US wheat exports – projected 664m tonnes. Even if we knock the maize market during the last month. One
                                                                                                                                                                                Scotland G20 0XA           
a wider range of commodities, using updated            Other tools to prevent contamination                  11. Zheng, Z.M. Validation Report of AgraStripTM                    had a shaky start to harvest under damp off, say, 10m to 15m tonnes to account for was an official update of US planted area which
software.                                          include the monitoring of environmental con-                  Total Aflatoxin Test, Romer Labs study number
    As in the ELISA tests, it is necessary to      ditions that might favour the production of                   SIN-2005- 01, 2005.                                          03-2010 Anzeige RQS-RBR 210 x 135 mm.indd 1                                                                                             23.03.2010 10:29:34

verify that the analysed matrix is included        mycotoxigenic fungi for example, measuring                12. G. Häubl . F. Berthiller . R. Krska . R. Schuhmacher.
among the validated commodities.10,11              water activity and temperatures.
                                                       The coming months are critical for the
                                                                                                                 Suitability of a fully 13C isotope labeled internal
                                                                                                                 standard for the determination of the mycotoxin              Flour Milling Training
Reliability of results
    All quality management systems must
                                                   quality of this year’s harvest, which is why the
                                                   UK’s Home Grown Cereal Authority have
                                                                                                                 deoxynivalenol by LC-MS/MS without clean up.
                                                                                                                 Anal Bioanal Chem (2006) 384: 692–696
                                                                                                                                                                              Seven Steps to Success                                                                FIGAP/ VIV
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Course Fees
verify the correct functioning of methods used
for monitoring and strive for improvements.
There are two ways of ensuring this, which
                                                   just launched their fusarium mycotoxin risk
                                                   assessment to calculate the risk of contamina-
                                                   tion, even though the levels of mycotoxins
                                                                                                                for    More inforMation:
                                                                                                                                                                                           – Hygiene, Health and Safety                                     América Latina 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The cost per module is: £295
rather than being mutually exclusive, comple-      are generally very low in UK grain.
                                                                                                                                                                                           – Wheat and the Screenroom                                         (as at 2010 – VAT at 17.5% where applicable)
                                                                                                                Richard Fielder (Director)                                                 – Mill Processes and Performance
ment each other and so both options should             A good HACCP system has to be capable                                                                                                                                                                  includes postage, textbook and exam registration
be used to verify that the analysis provide        of coping with all factors that put the produc-                Tel: +44 845 5195010                                                     – Product Handling, Storage and Distribution
precise and accurate data for decision making.     tion chain at risk. Mycotoxins do not occur                                                                                             – Flour                                                            nabim Members: Discount £95 per module (£200)
    The first option is using matrix reference     in isolation as discussed here, and need to
                                                                                                                                                                                           – Power and Automation
materials (MRMs) or internal control samples.
    These are product samples used to audit
                                                   be considered in the context of all the other
                                                   food safety risks.                                                                                                             October 21 - 23, 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                           – Flour Milling Management
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Non-UK Companies: Discount £50 per module (£245)

the analytical procedure as they contain a
known level of contamination with the myco-
toxin of interest and their certificates include
                                                   1. FAO /IAEA Training and Reference Centre for Food
                                                                                                                Author’s note: Romer Labs is the
                                                                                                                leading global provider of niche diag-
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the value of uncertainty of determining the           and Pesticide Control (2001 Reprinted 2003)               nostic tests for the agricultural, food and                                  and increase                        distance learning          for free entr of millers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 by industry
mycotoxin in the product.
    This reference or control sample is tested
                                                      Manual on the Application of the HACCP System
                                                      in Mycotoxin Prevention and Control. Rome.
                                                                                                                feed industry.
                                                                                                                                                                                             potential                           programme                               ance
                                                                                                                More      inforMation:
                                                                                                                                                                         millers with an essential understanding and
in the analytical system used, at a frequency      2. D. Aldred, N.Magan, M. Olsen, Chp. 7: The use
established according to the number of analy-         of HACCP in the control of mycotoxins: the case           Romer Labs Diagnostic GmbH
                                                                                                                                                                                   7 Modular Courses provide
ses performed at that point.                          of cereals. In: Mycotoxin in Food – Detection and         Technopark 1                                                               underpinning knowledge of the milling industry.
    Romer Labs® Biopure range offers a wide           Control. Woodhead Publishing Limited, England.            3430 Tulln
range of MRMs for several toxins at different         2004.                                                     Austria                                                                    An indispensable tool for those new to the milling industry and for
                                                                                                                                                                                     developing Jalisco - the competent miller. is time to explore a wide range of
                                                                                                                                                                                  Guadalajara,the skills of Mexico
levels of toxin contamination. These samples       3. P.S. Knass, Micotoxinas en la Industria Alimentaria:        Tel: +43 2272 615331                                                                                                                        21 Arlington Street
                                                                                                                  Fax: +43 2272 615331-11                                                                                                                   London SW1A 1RN, UK
include a certificate of analysis which complies      Mantener la Situación Bajo Control. Énfasis
with ISO guides 31 & 35.12                            Alimentación 6: 52-61 FLC Editores.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               challenging opportunities Tel: +44 (0) 20 7493 2521
                                                                                                                                                                                     Dedicated tutor support given to every student, providing professional
    The other option is to send samples from       4. Coker RD, Nagler MJ, Blunden G, Sharkey AJ,                                                                                                                                                                                                   Fax: +44 (0) 20 7493 6785
                                                                                                                                                                                           guidance throughout the course year.                                                                     email:
the different monitoring points to (reference)        Defize PR, Derksen GB, and Whitaker TB (1995).

                                                                                                                                                                              adv viv americalatina 190x132 grainfeed.indd 1                                                                                             23-07-10 09:56
28 | July - august 2010                                                                                                   Grain   &feed millinG technoloGy                          Grain   &feed millinG technoloGy                                                                                        July - august 2010 | 39
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                           by		Flour	Heat	                                and equipment
                           Treatment                                      - Key to improving
                                                                            feed quality and
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                             Pellets                                     consumption
                                                                   •                Fusarium
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Description: Managing the risks posed by mycotoxins in the food supply chain is both complex and difficult to predict.