This project brings together 81 research partners from 16 European countries in the quest to obtain greater knowledge related to the fungi growth, the production of ochratoxin A and Fusarium mycotoxins under different conditions, and the development and validation of mycotoxin control methods. Seven complementary multi-centre European projects are included in this cluster. They cover aspects related to the application of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Principle (HACCP) including its optimisation; modelling and mapping of fungal growth including mycotoxin reductions; grain silo design (e.g. humidity, O2-concentration, T ( C)); fungal growth conditions (e.g. micro-& macro-climate, environment);
competitions between fungi/fungi and fungi/bacteria; actions during processing; establish monitoring systems for fungi growth conditions; establish screening systems for mycotoxin contents control; genetic approaches at a fungal and plant level; seed and plant control, storage, treatment. In addition, the following two other European projects are loosely linked to this mycotoxin prevention cluster: (a) Safe organic vegetables and vegetable products by reducing risk factors and sources of fungal contaminants throughout the production chain: The carrot - Alternaria model (Safe organic vegetables; Contract QLK1-1999-00986) and (b) Risk assessment of fungal biological control agents (RAFBCA; Contract QLK1-2001-01391). For more details, please see the description of the projects elsewhere in this catalogue.
The overall objective of the cluster co-ordination is the prevention / reduction of mycotoxins by the application of the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) scheme. In addition, the cluster will seek to produce results, which can serve as a model approach for other natural toxins and possibly other undesirable substances in foods. The ultimate objectives are, therefore, to examine systems of pre-harvest crop treatment, and post-harvest control, to remove contaminants and prevent fungal development in food. Furthermore, it will provide biological and chemical means of detoxifying mycotoxins. This should also help to identify the feasibility and the critical points where corrective measures can have a controlling effect for prevention of the entry of these mycotoxins into the food chain. The best combinations of treatments in the chain will be identified by the HACCP approach.
The cost effective and time efficient prevention strategies generated by this cluster will be discussed, evaluated and disseminated to target audiences and various end-users. Consequently, the following working groups have been put in place:
- HACCP/Risk Analysis (Chairs: Dr A. Alldrick and Dr David Aldred; Campden & Chorleywood Food Research Association, e-mail: A.alldrick @ campden.co.uk ; and Cranfield University, e.mail: d.aldred @ cranfield.ac.uk);
- Pre-harvest (Chair: Dr J. Kohl, Plant Research International; e-mail: j.kohl @ plant.wag-ur.nl;
- Post-harvest (Chair: Dr N. Jonsson, Swedish Institute of Agric. Engineering; e-mail: nils.johnsson @ jti.slu.se;
- Dissemination and exploitation including training (Chair: Prof. Dr N. Magan, Cranfield University, e-mail: N.Magan @ Cranfield.ac.uk).