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Mycotoxin Testing – From Multi-Toxin Analysis to Metabolomics

10 January 2017


CANADA - Remarks by Rudolf Krska, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna at the 2016 World Nutrition Forum in Vancouver, Canada.


The occurrence of fungal and subsequently, mycotoxin contamination in various crops is of major concern since it has significant implications for food and feed safety, food security and international trade. The European Union (EU) annually produces about 133 million tons (MT) wheat (~M€ 29038), 68 MT maize (~M€ 13571) and 8 MT oats (~M€ 1543) (EUROSTAT online, 2016a, EUROSTAT online, 2016b). The Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) has estimated that about 25% of the world’s crops are affected by mycotoxins each year. However, results using latest state-of-the-art multi-analyte methods show that almost 100% of the crops are contaminated with one or more mycotoxins (Berthiller et al., 2014). With annual losses due to mycotoxins estimated at 5-10%, this equates to €1.2-2.4 billion in lost income for wheat alone, a reduction in these losses of only 1% would save €12-24 Mio. Moreover, with “one in eight persons worldwide suffering from chronic undernourishment” (Schmale and Munkvold, 2009); there is clearly a moral obligation to curb these significant food and feed losses.


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