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A New Challenge for Cereal Production and Processing Chains: Development of a Food Quality Management System for the Control of Mycotoxins. Global Socio-Economic Context (1). Public Health Issues Impact of mycotoxins on human and animal health

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A New Challenge for Cereal Production and Processing Chains:Development of a Food Quality Management Systemfor the Control of Mycotoxins


Global Socio-Economic Context (1)

Public Health Issues

  • Impact of mycotoxins on human and animal health

(carcinogenic, mutagenic, teratogenic, immunosuppressive,…)

  • High level of use of cereals in both food and feed

Economic Impact

  • High Postharvest Losses
  • Reduced animal productivity
  • Significant economic losses in both domestic &international trade.

Global Socio-Economic Context (2)

Evolution of Safety Regulations

  • WTO agreement on sanitary and phytosanitary standards
  • Codex alimentarius: Joint FAO-WHOcommittee
  • EU regulations (inside Europe and for Exporting Countries)
  • Regional regulations (e.g. MERCOSUR)

Most considered mycotoxins

Current Worldwide Importance

  • Aflatoxins (peanut, nuts, dried foods, soybean, ...)
  • Ochratoxin A (coffee, coca, cereals, ...)
  • Fumonisins (corn, sweet corn, ...)
  • Trichothecenes (cereals, …)
  • Zearalenone (corn, cereals, …)

Global Issues on Food Supply Chain

  • Food Supply Chain is Very Complex

Complex Commodity Flow Diagrams

Different Stakeholders

  • Importance of Socio-Economic, Cultural and Institutional Constraints
  • Notion of Quality Perception by the Chain Actors
    • Need for Adequate Social Organisation
    • Need for Formal Relationships Between Chain Actors

Global Issues on Mycotoxins (1)

  • Contamination by Molds and Mycotoxin Formation Possible

in Any Point of the Supply Chain

both in Production and Post Harvest Steps

  • Mold Growth and Synthesis of Toxins Dependent on

Agro climatic, Ecological and Physiological Conditions

  • Detoxication of Contaminated commodities Difficult and Sometimes Impossible
    • Need for Proper Pre and Post Harvest Processes, Adequate Equipment and Sound Handling Practices

Global Issues on Mycotoxins (2)

  • Evaluation of contamination based on the analytical determination of mycotoxins

Conventional methods (HPLC, CMC, …) are expensive, need sophisticated equipment and trained analysts

  • Need for food safety management tools along the whole chain

Lack of accurate and inexpensive analytical techniques for in situ routine control

Lack of Good Practices (GAP, GMP, GSP, GHP,…)

    • Need for a HACCP based approach along the food chain

Global Approach

Urgent need for a systematic/pro-active, cost effective approach, rather than, relying entirely on expensive, wasteful end-point testing/segregation


A Food Quality Management System taking into account the socio-economic context, the organisational and technological capabilities of stakeholders


Issues to be addressed…

  • The development of novel accurate, simple and cost-effective analytical tools (sampling, sample preparation and analysis) for the determination of mycotoxins, mainly for routine on field assessment
  • The completion of data generation describing the risksassociated with mycotoxins in raw materialsand derived products
  • Themechanisms of mould growth and mycotoxin production under different agro-ecological conditions
  • The development of novel, validated proactive procedures (control measures, critical limits & monitoring methods) for the control of mycotoxins in a variety of crop production and processing chains.


Development of a Food Quality Management System for the control of Mycotoxins in cereal production and processing chain in Latin America South Cone Countries


  • Europe : France, UK, Sweden
  • Southern Cone : Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile
  • Complementary Partnership
    • Universities
    • National Research Institutes
    • Regional Body as Interface between Those and All Chain Actors Including Private Sector (PROCISUR)

Southern Cone clients

Monica Olsen, NFA, Sweden, (external advisor)












(Consortium of Southern Cone INIA’s)










United Kingdom



Scientific + technical audiences

European Mycotoxin Cluster


Project Objectives

General objective

To improve the competitiveness of domestically and internationally traded cereals by controlling the occurrence of mycotoxins in maize and wheat products used as human food and animal feed


Project Objectives

Specific objectives

  • Development and standardisation of effective analytical tools (sampling, sample preparation & analysis) for mycotoxin determination in cereals and by-products
  • Mycotoxin hazard analysis of the domestic and international maize and wheat production and processing chains
  • Development and validation of effective mycotoxin control measures at specified critical control points
  • Development of a Food Quality Management System for the control of mycotoxins in cereal production and processing chains

Project Activities (1)


Development and Standardisation of Effective Analytical Tools for Mycotoxin Determination in Cereals and By-Products


Risk Assessment of Human Exposure to Ochratoxin A


Evaluation of Milling Procedures as Potential CCPs


Project Activities (2)

  • WP4
  • Hazard Analysis of Mycotoxins
  • WP5
  • Identification and Validation of of Mycotoxin Control Measures
  • WP6
  • Development of a Food Quality Management System

Project Management

Overall project management

CIRAD (Nadine Zakhia)

Steering Committee

Including an external scientific advisor (Monica Olsen)

Work Package team

Led by the respective work package leader


Project Deliverables (1)

  • Standardised procedures for wheat and maize sampling during milling processes in the Southern Cone region

(D1, WP3, Month 6)

  • A report documenting mycotoxin surveillance data, both from the literature and from surveillance studies conducted by this project (D2, WP4, Month 6)
  • A report describing the hazard analyses conducted and justifying the commodity/mycotoxin combination selected for further study (D3, WP4, Month 8)

Project Deliverables (2)

  • Standardised and validated analytical chromatographic methods applicable by all partner laboratories for mycotoxin determination in wheat and maize (D4, WP1, Month 10)
  • A standardised methodology for OTA determination in blood samples implemented in Latin America South Cone laboratories (D5, WP2, Month 12)
  • A report documenting the verified commodity flow diagrams for each commodity/mycotoxin combination in each of the selected countries (D6, WP4, Month 12)

Project Deliverables (3)

  • A risk characterization for OTA in Latin America South Cone countries (D7, WP2, Month 18)
  • Identification of the impact of different milling processes on the distribution of mycotoxin contamination in the different cereal fractions (D8, WP3, Month 18)
  • A report describing the socio-economic studies conducted and the associated findings. These data will provide a thorough understanding of the stakeholders within the commodity system and will help identify the constraints and opportunities affecting the implementation of proposed mycotoxin control measures (D9, WP1, Month 20)

Project Deliverables (4)

  • Implementation of the BCL technique (if successfully validated) in Latin America South Cone laboratories as a rapid tool for monitoring mycotoxin contamination throughout the whole maize and wheat chains (D10, WP1, Month 20)
  • Validation of the NIRS technique as a rapid tool for quantitative or semi-quantitative monitoring of mycotoxin contamination throughout the whole maize and wheat chains

(D11, WP1, Month 20)

  • Setting up of a network among all partner laboratories for operational exchanges in terms of analytical methods and tools (D12, WP1, Month 20)

Project Deliverables (5)

  • A series of reports documenting studies to develop and evaluate control measures and studies to validate CCPs

(D13, WP5, Month 24)

  • Data describing at which steps in the CFD the mycotoxin hazard originates, or at which steps concentrations increase to unacceptable levels (D14, WP4, Month 24)
  • HACCP plans for mycotoxin control in the specified commodity for each participating country (D15, WP6, Month 24)

Project Deliverables (6)

  • A manual describing Good Agricultural Practices for the production of maize and wheat in the Southern Cone

(D16, WP5, Month 30)

  • Better knowledge of (DON) and fumonisin variability in wheat and maize in LA South Cone (D17, WP3, Month 30)
  • Implementation of an efficient Food Quality Management System along the chain stakeholders to ensure high quality maize and wheat production regarding mycotoxin contamination (D18, WP6, Month 30)
  • Training and extension materials including posters, pamphlets, videos and radio and TV broadcasts and internet web pages, as appropriate (D19, WP6, Month 36)

Dissemination of Project Outputs

To the Scientific Community

  • Peer-Reviewed Papers, Workshops and Seminars

To the Chain Actors and Professional Organisations

  • Large Dissemination Papers (GAP, GMP, …)
  • Training
  • Participatory Workshops

To the Traders and Regulatory Bodies

  • Sectorial Papers
  • Focused Workshops (e.g.Rapid On-Field Analytical Techniques)

External Strategy

  • Participation in European and International Networks and Clusters

on Mycotoxins



  • Adaptation and Validation of the Developed Methods
  • to Other Contexts
  • to Other Commodity Chains
  • Identification of new partnerships (EU, Mercosur)
  • Topics, Partners, Elaboration of Project Proposals, etc