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Mycotoxins in Food

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Mycotoxins as “toxic compounds that are naturally produced by certain types of moulds (fungi). Moulds that can produce mycotoxins grow on numerous foodstuffs such as cereals, dried fruits, nuts and spices. Mould growth can occur either before harvest or after harvest, during storage, on/in the food itself often under warm, damp and humid conditions. Most mycotoxins are chemically stable and survive food processing.”

Due to their toxicity, the Codex Alimentarius Commission has established the maximum level of mycotoxins in food at very low concentrations. For example, level for aflatoxins in grains and milk are in the range of 0.5-15 ppb. Highly sensitive system for the accurate analysis of mycotoxins are of paramount importance. PerkinElmer offers a full range of solutions able to cover all the needs from screening trough Lateral Flow and ELISA kits, to confirmatory LC analysis of selected mycotoxins and accurate LC-MS/MS analysis of a wide range of mycotoxins in various food matrices.

Mycotoxins in Grain and Cereals

It has been estimated that 25% of all crops show some signs of mycotoxin contamination. As a consequence, many countries have established regulatory guidelines for maximum mycotoxin limits. Due to their high level of toxicity some of them are particularly demanding. For example, in some countries mycotoxin B1 has a maximum level of 2 μg/kg and Ochratoxin of 3 μg/kg. QSight LC-MS/MS can detect mycotoxins in grain at level below the established regulatory limits without the need of pre- or post-column derivatization. Beside LC-MS, PerkinElmer offers a complete portfolio for the detection of mycotoxins in grain from screening to confirmatory analysis.

Mycotoxins in Milk and Dairy Products

Aflatoxin B1 is considered to be the most genotoxic of the mycotoxins, and, when ingested by cows, is converted to aflatoxin M1. One the strictest regulatory levels for any aflatoxin has been set forth by the European Union (EU), having established a stringent control limit of 0.05 ppb for M1 in milk. Max Signal Aflatoxin ELISA kit allows you for fast screening of aflatoxin M1 in Milk. For the effective chromatographic separation of aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2 and M1 and for achieving the 0.05-ppb limit for M1 without the need of derivatization, QSight, the UHPLC-MS/MS system by PerkinElmer, is the solution of choice.

Mycotoxins in Wine and Beverages

Grapes can be subjected to the infection of fungi. Among these, Aspergillus carbonarius is responsible for the production of ochratoxin A (OTA), a mycotoxin of big concern in wine, as it does not degrade during the different stages of wine production. The maximum amount of OTA allowed, according to the European Union, is of 2 ppb. PerkinElmer offers a wide spectrum of technologies covering ELISA, Lateral Flow, LC, LC-MS/MS to help you in the detection and quantification of mycotoxins in wine and other beverages.

Mycotoxins in Petfood

Dry pet food is produced with grains and cereal by-products rejected for human consumption. The contamination of these by-products, with toxigenic fungal metabolites called mycotoxins, pose a serious health threat to pets. Several aflatoxin outbreaks in commercial pet foods have been reported in the past few years. Even if affecting only a small percentage of commercial pet foods, problems with pet food safety impact the entire pet food industry due to recalls and loss of consumer loyalty. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) control limit for raw mycotoxins in grains is 20 ppb, while in the European Union standards are stricter, set at 10 ppb. Trace amounts of aflatoxin in some commercial pet foods are typically around 1-2 ppb. With its portfolio, we can provide all the solutions that allow to screen, detect and quantify mycotoxins in pet food at levels well below those established by current regulations.

Mycotoxins in Cannabis

In addition to pesticides, the growing conditions for cannabis are also conducive to the growth of molds and fungi which can produce carcinogenic mycotoxins including ochratoxin A and aflatoxins. As a result, testing for the levels of pesticide and mycotoxins in cannabis is important to ensure consumer safety and quality control as these molecules can be highly toxic to all animal organisms and have harmful effects even at very low doses. Contamination can occur in the field, but also during the subsequent phases of transportation, storage, or processing, or when environmental conditions of temperature and humidity are precise enough to develop fungal spores naturally present in the environment.

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