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Development of Representative Sampling Plans for Mycotoxins in Foods Using Distribution Modelling

Institutions
ADAS Consulting Ltd
Cranfield University
Start date
2006
End date
2007
Objective
Initially, a review of the scientific literature will be carried out to identify sources of data that can be used to create the model (including the primary data associated with previous studies, sampling Directives and protocols).

Using the information gathered, a computer program will be written to produce a pilot model of distribution and sampling for one mycotoxin and one commodity. The model will generate probability distributions for the concentrations of toxins throughout a grain store, using at least two variables to characterise the distribution of the contamination in the model, including 1) the 'patch' size and 2) the 'patch concentration'.

Once the pilot model has been established, the effects of processing on mycotoxin distribution will be incorporated. Simple transformation of the original parameters will show the effect that mixing or separation of the commodity can have on the distribution of the contamination, such operations can cause concentration or dilution of the mycotoxin in the system.

Finally, the mechanism to test sampling strategies will be added to the model, established sampling protocols will be assess using the model and the effectiveness of new sampling schemes (e.g. the effect of varying the number of samples, their position and incremental sample size) will be tested.

More information
Studies have demonstrated that mycotoxins are seldom uniformly distributed throughout most food and feed commodities. Consequently, sampling plans to test for mycotoxin levels are complex and variable depending on the circumstances and the commodities involved. In order to ensure consumer protection, food must be sampled in a representative way and although there is existing EU legislation on sampling for official controls, this is primarily designed for bulk sampling at points of entry. Therefore, this project aims to develop a model simulating the distribution of mycotoxins in food commodities which shows how the affected portions will be mixed and redistributed at various points of the food chain.

Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the Food Standards Agency Research webpage.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project number
C03055
Categories
Mycotoxins
Legislation and Regulations