Food safety is important for supporting public health and reducing foodborne illness. Occasionally, agricultural commodities can be contaminated with fungi capable of producing toxins, known as mycotoxins. The objective of our research is to find new ways to detect and reduce exposure to mycotoxins in food and beverages. The research addresses the limitations of existing methods of toxin detection, and utilizes a combination of chemical theory, synthesis, analytical science, and materials science. Current areas of study are:
· Design and synthesis of materials (synthetic receptors) to help selectively detect or remove toxins from foods and beverages.
· Develop new methods to detect toxins in agricultural commodities.
· Develop computational methods for foodborne toxins that enable new strategies to reduce exposure.
Toxins of recent study include: patulin, ochratoxin A, citrinin, fusaric acid, and zearalenone
Results of this research will provide practical tools and fundamental knowledge to identify mycotoxin contaminated commodities and foods.