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ARS Home » Midwest Area » Peoria, Illinois » National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research » Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #341329

Research Project: Improved Analytical Technologies for Detection of Foodborne Toxins and Their Metabolites

Location: Mycotoxin Prevention and Applied Microbiology Research

Title: Detection of fungal toxins

item Maragos, Chris

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/19/2019
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The fungi that produce mycotoxins are a formidable enemy- they have been around much longer than humans and are very adaptable. They can survive in many harsh environments and are difficult to control. It doesn’t help that many different types of fungi can produce mycotoxins and that they can thrive on the same foods that we do. For these reasons mycotoxins are a recurring problem. Keeping mycotoxins out of the human food and animal feed supplies requires monitoring. Such monitoring can be broadly classified into three types: presumptive (for example using a black light), indirect (for example a dipstick test), and direct (for example a liquid chromatograph coupled to a mass spectrometer). Because of the wide variety of situations where monitoring is conducted, all three types are frequently used. Currently the presumptive tests are not good enough for regulatory compliance because they do not actually measure the toxins of interest. Demand for accurate methods for measuring toxins has been addressed by a number of companies that manufacture screening tests, and many such tests have been validated for use in commodities and foods. The good news is that such tests are routinely used, and this has helped keep the U.S. food and feed supplies among the safest in the world. Despite this success, there remains a strong incentive to develop tests that are better. The definition of better usually includes easier, faster, more accurate, and cheaper. For this reason we continue to investigate new technologies for mycotoxin detection and quantification. One approach uses the same types of reagents as the dipstick tests, i.e. antibodies, but in novel formats such as biosensors. In this presentation I will discuss recent progress on the use of biosensors for monitoring mycotoxins in commodities.