Knowledge Based Bio-Economy


Novel integrated strategies for worldwide mycotoxin reduction in the food and feed chains (Environmental impacts and total food chain)

Project acronym: MycoRed

Title of project: Novel integrated strategies for worldwide mycotoxin reduction in the food and feed chains

Research area: Environmental impacts and total food chain

Contract No: 222690

EU contribution: €5 769 956

Start date: April 2009

Duration: 54 months

Status: on-going

Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungi that are toxic to humans and animals. They represent an important and sensitive problem, as various many products we normally consume in our diet are exposed to their contamination. Mycotoxins are dangerous for feed and food chains as they can create contamination in pre- and post-harvest processes.

The following toxins and commodities are a focus of the MycoRed research: aflatoxins, trichothecenes, zearalenone, fumonisins in wheat/maize food and feed chains; ochratoxin A in the grape-wine and wheat chains; and aflatoxins in the dried fruit chain.

The project will develop novel solution-driven methodologies and handling procedures to reduce both pre- and post-harvest contamination in selected feed and food chains. It will also generate and disseminate information and education strategies so as to reduce mycotoxin risks at a global level. High risk areas will receive particular attention, through cooperation with international agriculture and food organisations.

The project will build on the outcome of several previous EU projects on mycotoxins by supporting, stimulating and facilitating education and cooperation with countries reporting major mycotoxin concerns with a potential impact on (international) trade and human health. The direct involvement of ICPC countries (Argentina, Egypt, Russia, South Africa, Turkey) and international organisations (CIMMYT, IITA), together with strong  18 alliances with major research institutions in the USA,  Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia and two twinnings with Argentina and Canada will strengthen the project. Partners will share experiences and resources from several past and ongoing mycotoxin projects in a global context.

The team expects to produce novel methodologies, efficient handling procedures and information, dissemination and educational strategies to reduce mycotoxins exposure worldwide. Five work-packages will develop novel solution driven strategies to reduce both pre-and post-harvest contamination in feed and food chains.

The work packages cover optimisation of plant resistance and fungicide use; biocontrol to reduce toxigenic fungi in cropping systems; predictive modelling and optimised logistics; novel post-harvest and storage practices; and application of new food processing technologies.

Two horizontal work packages are developing enabling methodologies for advanced diagnostics and quantitative detection of toxigenic fungi and rapid and multi-toxin detection of mycotoxins and relevant biomarkers.

Website of project:


Coordinator: Antonio F. Logrieco,

Organisation: CNR - National Research Council Institute of Sciences of Food Production, Italy,