Mycotoxins : The Hidden Danger In Our Food Supply
Mycotoxins are a group of natural chemicals produced by certain molds. Their formation occurs, under warm and humid conditions, in the fields, or during the storage of freshly harvested crops and foodstuffs, including cereals, nuts, spices, dried fruits, etc…
When contaminated feedstuffs are ingested, they negatively impact the animal performance and, as a consequence, the producer profitability in various ways :
- Milk contamination
- Decrease in milk production
- Decrease in meat production
- Reproductive problems
- Impact on immune response
- Digestive problems
Mycotoxins can cause a variety of adverse health effects in humans too.
The mycotoxins of most concern from a food safety perspective include the aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1, G2 and M1), ochratoxin A, patulin and toxins produced by Fusarium moulds, including fumonisins (B1, B2 and B3), trichothecenes (principally nivalenol, deoxynivalenol, T-2 and HT-2 toxin) and zearalenone.
In order to protect consumer safety, rules and strict legislative limits for mycotoxins in certain foodstuffs are set out in European Commission legislation. A range of tests is conducted on products for which there are maximum levels or which are known to be susceptible to mycotoxins, to ensure that they do not present a concern to feed and food safety. (source)
At Unisensor, we are aware of these concerns. Our mission is to improve food safety with screening solutions to detect mycotoxins in dairy and cereals in the agro-food industry.