The need to improve prevention to minimize mycotoxins in products at different critical steps of the food chain
To develop novel solution driven methodologies and handling procedures to reduce both pre- and post-harvest contamination in the selected feed and food chains, and to generate and disseminate information and education strategies to reduce mycotoxin risks at a global level
MycoRed aims at developing novel strategic solutions based on multidisciplinary and integrated approaches to reduce contamination with mycotoxins of along food chains in the agro-food/feed system. Current and future concerns related to mycotoxins will increasingly require a multidisciplinary and global approach based on the use of various systems (novel methodologies, efficient handling and processing procedures, and information dissemination and educational strategies) that can be effectively applied along food and feed chains. Knowledge of contemporary methodologies and handling procedures actually in use to reduce mycotoxins is still fragmented and specific for particular geographical areas. In contrast, the MycoRed approach will comply with the needs of global, multidisciplinary and integrated strategies linked directly to decisional bodies
Potential impacts/potential beneficiaries
MycoRed aims at increasing awareness at different levels:
- For the Citizens: to show that technical workpackage solutions can help in increasing food safety and minimise the consumer's exposure to and health risks from mycotoxin contaminated food and feed; having a positive impact on plant, animal and human health and exonerating the health care systems, with particular attention to high risk areas;
-For the Agro-food producers community (farmers, animal and plant breeders): to provide tools and demonstrate advantages of pre- and post-harvest solutions to reduce and controlling the risk of mycotoxins in plant products and in the subsequent food/feed chains obtaining agro-industrial products with major added value leading to a better economic development of rural areas;
-For the Agro-food industries community: to generate opportunities for the industry to use the research results in developing novel (bio)control measures against toxigenic fungi, in reducing mycotoxin contamination by improved handling procedures during storage and processing and new detection kits;
- For Policy makers and legislators: to provide improved information and know-how for evaluating the real and potential mycotoxin risks, including possible outcomes of climate change and increased international trade. Provide indicators to assess the risk of contaminated commodities;
-For the Scientific community: to improve global communication and international networking and dissemination of innovative research results with the support of learned societies and dedicated scientific journals such as the International Society for Mycotoxicology and the World Mycotoxin Journal respectively
Application of advanced screening for mycotoxin resistance for cultivars and hybrids registration; Gene and plant elicitors involved in wheat and maize resistance against F. graminearum and F. verticillioides respectively; rational use of fungicide and spraying technology in wheat and maize Fusarium ear rot control.
Prototypes of biocontrol products for use in cereals, grapevine and peanuts. Methods that enhance naturally occurring antagonists as new 'Good Agricultural Practices'. Delivery of selected antagonists to industries for possible development as biocontrol agents.
Validated predictive model for deoxynivalenol (DON) in wheat, for FBs in maize and for AFBs in maize. Developed and validated model for OTA in grapes. Prototype model for AFBs in nuts. Decision Support Systems (DSS) for pre- and post-harvest management of wheat, maize and grapes to minimize mycotoxins contamination. Guidelines to minimise AFs in tree nuts.
Optimisation of new storage systems based on ozone treatment and other vapour systems to minimize mycotoxins post-harvest. Development of new chemical potentiators for minimizing insects and mycotoxins post-harvest. Development of post-harvest systems models for better management of staple food post-harvest. Decision Support System (DSS) for post-harvest management to minimize mycotoxins in food/feed (linked to WP3). New in vitro systems for examining potential additive/synergistic effects of mixtures of mycotoxins and their impact on the food/feed chains. Processing approaches to significantly prevent/minimize mycotoxin exposure to food and feed.
Identification of dietary fibres and microorganisms able to decontaminate mycotoxin-contaminated cereals. Report on the in vivo effectiveness of selected dietary fibres in reducing mycotoxin bioavailability and toxicity. Report on the efficacy of fluidized gravimetric tables in reducing mycotoxin levels in maize, wheat, almonds and apricot kernels. Handling methods of grain/dried fruits cleaning and sorting that efficiently reduce mycotoxin contamination. Report on the fate of mycotoxins during different food processing of maize and wheat. Protocos of the improved food processing technologies that minimize mycotoxin levels and toxicity in the final products.
Optimized molecular systems (Real Time PCR, Reverse transcriptase Real Time PCR, microarrays to monitor mycotoxin producing fungi in the food environment. New approaches to prevent mycotoxin production by targeting receptor or transducing molecules as global regulatory molecules of mycotoxin biosynthesis. Knowledge about stress induction of mycotoxin biosynthesis genes and development of predictive models based on these data. Report on geographical distribution of toxigenic fungi on wheat, maize, grape and dried fruits at global level and relative mycotoxicological risk map. Provide scientific basis for forecasting new and emerging toxigenic fungi.
Donor (Donor country)
EU (Belgium), CNR-ISPA (Italy)