Produced in association with the
International Society for Mycotoxicology
2014, Volume XVII, Issue 1
Michelangelo Pascale, group leader of the department
of Food Safety and Innovative Methods for Food
Analysis at the Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA-CNR), Bari, Italy
 Mold and mycotoxin occurrence
 Indoor exposure to mycotoxins
and molds
 Regulations
 Advances in mycotoxin testing
 Toxicology of mycotoxins
 Control strategies
 Food and feed safety
4An international team of mycotoxin experts led the December 11–12, 2013, MoniQA Workshop on Effective Mycotoxin Management in Bangkok, Thailand. In addition to hands-on experience with mycotoxin test kits, the workshop provided the 50 participants with an overview of the current mycotoxin situation, the impact of mycotoxins on food and feed safety worldwide and in Southeast Asia, the regulatory environment in Thailand and across the globe, and mycotoxin risk management and control. The program also included sessions on liquid chromatography-mass spectrometric methods for multi-mycotoxin analysis and confirmatory testing, quality control in mycotoxin analysis, and the role of traditional and ethnic foods and their ingredients in mycotoxin prevention.
Details of the program are available on the following websites:
http://www.icc.or.at/node/2137 and https://www.moniqa.org/node/598
4Mycotoxin regulations and fit-for-purpose quantitative mycotoxin detection methods were the focus of a December 4–13, 2013, training course, Methods of Determination for Mycotoxins, at the International Food Safety Training Laboratory of the University of Maryland – Joint Institute for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, in College Park, Maryland, USA. Participants reviewed relevant FDA and USDA compliance programs and practiced preparing samples and standards and performing ELISA plate and lateral flow tests, fluorescence and UV detection techniques, and LC-MS/MS analyses.
A summary of the course appears on the following website:

4The Molecular Phytopathology and Mycotoxin Research Group at Georg-August-University Göttingen organized the June 16–18, 2014, 36th Mycotoxin Workshop in Göttingen, Germany, on behalf of the Society for Mycotoxin Research. The workshop sessions addressed the following topics:
 Chemistry and biosynthesis of mycotoxins
 Toxicology of mycotoxins
 Effects of mycotoxins on animal and human health
 Biological functions of mycotoxins
 Mycotoxin detection and quantification
 Prevention of mycotoxin exposure
 Detoxification
 Legal and regulatory issues
More information on the workshop is available on the following website:
4The Mycotoxin Summer Talks 2014 convened at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU), in Tulln, Austria, on July 4, 2014. The conference featured keynote presentations by renowned mycotoxin experts and oral and poster presentations on high-profile areas in mycotoxin research. An interdisciplinary roundtable discussion concluded the program. The talks were held in conjunction with the Mycotoxin Summer Academy.
For more information on the talks, visit the following website:

Click to access BOKU_Summertalks_2014.pdf

4The July 7–11, 2014, Mycotoxin Summer Academy 2014, at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, in Tulln, Austria, offered two one-week courses. The first course covered issues such as the toxicity of mycotoxins, their economic impact on the food and feed industry, and the taxonomy of toxigenic fungi. It also provided an introduction to various analytic methods, including chromatography and mass spectrometry and featured lab sessions on applications such as analysis of cereals by HPLC-UV/FLD, multi-toxin LC-MS/MS analysis, ELISAs and lateral flow devices for rapid mycotoxin detection, and PCR analysis of fungal DNA. The second course offered an in-depth look at liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (LC-MS) with a particular focus on its use for multi-analyte detection.
The complete course schedule is posted on the following website:
September 2014, First African Symposium on Mycotoxicology, Mombasa, Kenya
November 10–12, 2014, Eighth World Mycotoxin Forum and Conference, Vienna, Austria
June 13–14, 2015, Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins – Gordon Research Seminar,
Stonehill College, Easton, MA, USA
September 8–11, 2015, Second International Symposium on Mycotoxins in Nuts and Dried Fruits (ISMNDF), Abuja, Nigeria
August 28 – September 10, 2014, Intensive Training on Mycotoxin Analysis 2014, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
4September 29 – October 3, 2014, ISM Workshop-Training Course – Toxigenic Fungi and Pathogenic Bacteria in the Food Chain, Institute of Sciences of Food Production, Bari, Italy
http://www.mycotox-society.org/ToxigenicFungiTraining-2014″ www.mycotox-society.org/ToxigenicFungiTraining-2014
4October 6–10, 2014, ISM Workshop-Training Course – Detection Techniques for Mycotoxins in the Food/Feed Chain, Institute of Sciences of Food Production, Bari, Italy
http://www.mycotox-society.org/ISM-Training-2014″ www.mycotox-society.org/ISM-Training-2014
4Statement on the risks for public health related to a possible increase of the maximum level of deoxynivalenol for certain semi-processed cereal products,
EFSA Journal 2013, 11(12): 3490.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has issued a statement indicating that raising the maximum level (ML) of deoxynivalenol (DON) for selected cereal products from 750 μg/kg to 1,000 μg/kg would increase the incidence of DON exposure that exceeds current health based guidance values (HBGVs).
Although the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) included DON’s acetyl-derivatives in these HBGVs, EFSA’s statement provides exposure estimates for the parent compound only. As EFSA noted, occurrence data on the acetyl-derivatives are scarce and neither the current nor the proposed ML includes them.
EFSA’s data on DON occurrence in food comprised the results of DON analysis of 10,757 samples collected in 21 European countries between 2007 and 2012. Because no test results from food processors’ self-monitoring programs were available, the percentage of DON levels greater than 750 μg/kg found in products that were kept off the market could not be determined. Consequently, a simulation approach was used to predict the effect of raising the ML on mean DON levels in three cereal products (barley and wheat flour and wheat semolina). This approach entailed re-sampling their data under the constraint that the proportion of noncompliant levels would remain the same after the ML increased.
EFSA analysis indicated that the higher ML would increase mean levels of DON by a factor of 1.14 to 1.16. Based on median chronic exposures in several age classes, EFSA predicted that increasing the ML would approximately double the percentage of consumers whose exposure to DON exceeds JECFA’s group provisional maximum tolerable daily intake (PMTDI) of 1 μg/kg body weight (b.w.) for DON and its 3- and 5-acetyl derivatives.
The researchers also analyzed the effects of the higher ML in a series of acute exposure scenarios. In several of these, the resulting dietary exposures exceeded the group acute reference dose (ARfD) of 8 μg/kg b.w. established by JECFA. One scenario indicated that for individuals with the highest exposure levels, the ARfD would be exceeded on up to 25.9 percent of consumption days.
EFSA noted that higher ML can be expected to increase the occurrence of not only DON but also its acetyl-derivatives. Based on their review of relevant literature, they also concluded that acetyl-derivatives can be significant contributors to total DON exposure. In light of these concerns, EFSA called for the collection of reliable data on the occurrence of DON’s acetyl-derivatives to assess their impact on the possible health risks of the proposed ML.
The complete statement can be downloaded from the following website:
4Commission Regulation (EU) No. 212/2014 amending Regulation (EC) No. 1881/2006 to include a 2 mg/kg maximum level for citrinin in red yeast rice supplements went into effect on April 1, 2014. The new regulation reflects concerns about the risk of kidney damage in consumers who take these supplements for their cholesterol-lowering effect. According to current scientific opinion, it’s necessary to consume 10 mg of monacolin K from red yeast rice preparations daily to lower cholesterol. Consumers would have to take four to six 600 mg capsules of red yeast rice to get this amount of monacolin K. Some strains of the yeast that produces monacolin K also produce citrinin. Furthermore current data on citrinin occurrence confirms high levels in certain red yeast rice preparations. Based on these facts, the European Commission concluded that taking the recommended dose of monacolin K could expose consumers to doses of citrinin that significantly exceed the level of no concern for nephrotoxicity (0.2 μg/kg b.w. per day). The Commission will review the new ML within two years, when more data on citrinin’s genotoxicity and carcinogenicity and on citrinin exposure from other foodstuffs have been collected.
To view the regulation, visit the following URL:
4Discussions on various mycotoxin control measures took place at the Eighth Session of the Codex Alimentarius Committee on Contaminants in Food (CCCF), which met in The Hague, the Netherlands, from March 31 to April 4, 2014. The EU delegates’ comments on these talks included requests for clarification on several points in the proposed draft MLs for fumonisins in maize and maize products. In a discussion of deoxynivalenol (DON) regulations, they agreed to a 2 mg/kg maximum level for raw wheat, maize, and barley before sorting and removal of damaged kernels. However, they objected to the proposed 1 mg/kg ML for flour, semolina, meal, and flakes made from wheat, barley, or maize and stipulated that the proposed 0.2 mg/kg ML for cereal based foods for infants and young children should apply only to cereals in their dry state. The meetings also prompted the following recommendations from the EU:
 The aggregate sample weight for wheat, barley, and raw maize subject to DON testing and for maize subject to fumonisin testing should be 10 kg; 5 kg would be an acceptable compromise.
 The proposed draft annex for the prevention and reduction of aflatoxins and ochratoxin A contamination in sorghum should be forwarded to the 37th Session of Codex for adoption.
 More data on aflatoxin occurrence in rice should be collected for a discussion of possible regulations; work should begin on a code of practice for the prevention and reduction of aflatoxins in rice.
 The discussion paper on the possible revision of the Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Mycotoxin Contamination in Cereals, the proposal for new work on a code of practice for the prevention and reduction of ochratoxin A in paprika, and the discussion paper on the establishment of a maximum level for total aflatoxins in ready-to-eat peanuts and associated sampling plan should be forwarded to the 37th Session of Codex for acceptance as new work.
 Background information on the proposal for new work on the establishment of maximum levels for aflatoxins in spices and the proposal for new work on the establishment of maximum levels for aflatoxin B1 and total aflatoxins in nutmeg and associated sampling plan should be combined in a single discussion paper.
 The Committee should wait to consider extending the proposed MLs for DON to include the acetylated DON derivatives until more occurrence data are available.
For more details of the EU’s comments, visit the following URL:
The Code of Practice for the Prevention and Reduction of Ochratoxin A Contamination in Cocoa (CAC/RCP 72-2013) was adopted at the 36th Session of the Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) held in Rome from July 1 to July 5, 2013. The Code recommends practices for reducing contamination during the pre-harvest stage, harvest, storage of fruits and pod opening, fermentation and drying of beans, and storage and transportation of dried beans to local industries and foreign ports.
The Code can be downloaded from the following page on the Codex website:
4″Development and Evaluation of Monoclonal Antibodies for the Glucoside of T-2 Toxin (T2-Glc),” Chris M. Maragos, Cletus Kurtzman, Mark Busman, et al., Toxins, 2013, 5(7): 1299–1313.
The authors developed an innovative method for simultaneously detecting T-2 toxin and its glucoside derivative, the masked mycotoxin T2-Glc. To produce antibodies for their study, the researchers injected mice with T2-Glc that had been linked to the immune potentiator keyhole limpet hemocyanin. Cells from the immunized mice were then used to develop hybridoma cell lines. Most of the monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) showed high cross-reactivity to T-2 toxin. Cross-reactivity to HT-2 toxin was somewhat lower.
The mAbs generated by these cell lines were incorporated into immunoassays that detected T2-Glc and T-2 toxin with midpoints of inhibition curves (IC50s) in the low ng/mL range. The authors concluded that the in-depth cross-reactivity and high solvent tolerance of one of the clones, mAb 2-13, would make it particularly useful for simultaneous detection of T-2 toxin and T2-Glc.
4“Public Health Impacts of Foodborne Mycotoxins,” F. Wu, J.D. Groopman, and J.J. Pestka, Annual Review of Food Science and Technology, 2014, 5(1): 351–372.
This review of the impact of mycotoxins on human health begins with a look at toxigenic fungi and at crops that are prone to mycotoxin contamination. It goes on to describe the adverse health effects of major mycotoxins and to identify the most vulnerable populations worldwide. A discussion of the extent of the global burden of disease caused by foodborne mycotoxins concludes the article.
“Fungi and Mycotoxins in Cocoa: From Farm to Chocolate,” M.V. Copetti, B.T. Iamanaka, J.I. Pitt, and M.H. Taniwaki, International Journal of Food Microbiology, 2014, 178: 13–20.
The authors explain how filamentous fungi, particularly those that produce aflatoxins and ochratoxin A, develop at the various stages of cocoa processing and how to control these contaminants with good processing practices. The article also covers methods of detecting fungi and mycotoxins and measuring their levels in cocoa as well as dietary exposure and regulations.
“Determination of Deoxynivalenol and Nivalenol in Wheat by Ultra-
performance Liquid Chromatography/Photodiode-Array Detector and Immunoaffinity Column Cleanup,” M. Pascale, G. Panzarini, S. Powers, and A. Visconti, Food Analytical Methods, 2014, 7(3): 555–562.
This article describes the development of the first method to use UltraPerformance Liquid Chromatography (UPLC®) combined with immunoaffinity column cleanup to simultaneously determine deoxynivalenol (DON) and nivalenol (NIV) in wheat. Mean recoveries from blank wheat samples spiked with 100–2,000 μg/kg of DON and 100–2,000 μg/kg of NIV ranged from 85 to 95 percent for DON and from 81 to 88 percent for NIV with relative standard deviations less than 7 percent. The limit of detection (LOD) was 30 μg/kg for DON and 20 μg/kg for NIV (signal-to-noise ratio 3:1). The range of applicability of the method was between the LOD and 4,000 μg/kg, as a single mycotoxin or the sum of DON and NIV in wheat.
Mycotoxin Reduction in Grain Chains, J.F. Lesile and A.F. Logrieco, John Wiley & Sons, April 17, 2014, 376 pages.
Supported by MycoRed, a European Union FP7 project, this book provides a multidimensional view of mycotoxin reduction in grains at various stages of the value chain. While wheat and maize are the primary focus of attention, the authors also discuss rice, sorghum, and other grains. In addition to discussing the specific mycotoxins that typically infect these grains, the book explores detection and analytical methods; breeding for resistance; good agricultural, harvest, storage, and processing practices; decontamination techniques; and mycotoxin prediction models.
4The editor, Dr. Michelangelo Pascale, is a researcher at the Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA), part of the Italian National Research Council (CNR). ISPA is recognized as one of the world’s foremost institutes for the study of the chemistry and the biology of mycotoxins and mycotoxin-producing fungi. Dr. Pascale is currently group leader of ISPA’s department of Food Safety and Innovative Methods for Food Analysis and a participant in several national and international mycotoxin projects.
The editor welcomes submissions of newsworthy information about mycotoxins, including the dates of upcoming conferences of interest. He can be contacted at the following address:
Dr. Michelangelo Pascale
Institute of Sciences of Food Production (ISPA-CNR)
Via G. Amendola 122/O, 70126 Bari, Italy
Tel: +39.080.5929362; fax: +39.080.5929373
E-mail: michelangelo.pascale@ispa.cnr.it
Web: http://www.ispa.cnr.it
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Starting in 2015 we will no longer publish this newsletter in print edition, instead we will switch to a digital format. To receive the digital edition, please send your request to vicam@vicam.com.
4″Mycotoxins That Affect the North American Agri-food Sector: State of the Art and Directions for the Future,” J.D., Miller, A.W. Schaafsma, D. Bhatnagar,
G. Bondy, I. Carbone, L.J. Harris, G. Harrison, G.P. Munkvold, I.P. Oswald, J.J. Pestka, L. Sharpe, M.W. Sumarah, S.A. Tittlemier, and T. Zhou, World Mycotoxin Journal, 2014, 7(1): 63–82.
This summary of workshop discussions from the June 2012 international MYCORED meeting in Ottawa, Canada, focuses on the impact of mycotoxins on
North America’s agricultural and food industries. More than 200 participants, including academics, government and industry scientists, government officials, and representatives of farming organizations, from 27 countries contributed to these discussions. Topics covered ranged from the latest advances in plant genetics, fungal genomics, toxicology, and sampling and test methods to mycotoxin management strategies for the food and feed industries and the public health implications of
mycotoxins in developing countries. The discussions were intended to help set
priorities and develop recommendations for the future.
4Management of Mycotoxin Contamination in Food and Feed in China,”
W.W. Zhang, Z.M. Ye, Y. Jin, S.Y. Wang, L.S., Zhang, and X.F. Pei, World Mycotoxin Journal, 2014, 7(1): 53–62.
This article is the first comprehensive review of China’s mycotoxin control strategies. The authors cite progress in the country’s mycotoxin management efforts, including the establishment of 49 regulations, maximum levels for seven mycotoxins, 17
standard detection methods, a code of practice for preventing and reducing mycotoxins in cereals, and a government network that monitors levels of 12 mycotoxins. The effectiveness of industry oversight and government inspections in reducing exposure to mycotoxin-contaminated food and feed is also noted.
4Improving Public Health Through Mycotoxin Control, J.I. Pitt, C.P. Wild,
R.A. Baan, W.C.A. Gelderblom, J.D. Miller, R.T. Riley, and F. Wu, (Editors), IARC
Scientific Publication, No. 158, 2012, 165 pages.
This book makes the complexities of the mycotoxin problem accessible and relevant for a wide audience and provides helpful guidance for decision makers in fields ranging from public health to agriculture, economics, and marketing. In addition to the occurrence and effects of mycotoxins, the book discusses approaches to reducing the dietary exposure of high-risk populations. The editors hope their book will spur governments, nongovernmental and international organizations, and the private sector to increase their efforts to limit dietary exposure to mycotoxins in developing countries.
4Fusarium Head Blight in Latin America, T.M. Alconada Magliano and S.N. Chulze (Editors) Springer; 2013, 304 pages.
This book provides an overview of relevant research advances and management strategies of Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) in Latin America, including gene selection, biocontrol, and weather-based forecasts of disease risk. It addresses topics ranging from mycological factors that affect Fusarium infection in wheat, such as hyphal growth and morphogenesis in germinating spores; fungal ecology and epidemiology; Fusarium-toxins associated to Fusarium Head Blight in wheat in Latin America and integrated management and control.

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