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Mycotoxin testing: ready for this year’s harvest?
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Mycotoxin testing Feature Feature 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: www.bridge2food.com/fpi2010.asp | Ph: +31 30 225 2060 | I: firstname.lastname@example.org e-Mail: email@example.com
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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 www.r-biopharm.com
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
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-
• Enhance your
Register now by hundreds
• Studied every
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
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.
potential programme ance
www.viv.net 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: email@example.com
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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