An official website of the United States government.

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Estrogenic Carcinogenic Mycotoxins in the Food Chain: Zearaloenone, Aflatoxin and Emerging Threats Produced by Fungi

Investigators
Brown, David
Institutions
Cornell University
Start date
2010
End date
2013
Objective
Create a useful, annotated database that provides planners, extension personnel, processors, farmers and consumers with the following:
  1. Measurements of the incidence of aflatoxin and zearalenone incidence in corn produced and stored for use on 30-100 New York State animal production units per year for three years.
  2. Measurements of the incidence of aflatoxin and zearalenone in commercially available animal feed from 30-100 companies of various sizes.
  3. Measurements of citrinin, DON and ochratoxin in those above feeds destined for dairy stock and fumonisin in those destined for horses and human populations.
  4. Published summary of practices and seasonal climate variables associated with these findings.
  5. Measurements of the incidence of aflatoxin and zearalenone incidence in snack foods, milled grains, dairy and meat products produced in New York from 30-100 retail outlets across the state.
MILESTONES / TIMETABLE:

Objective1) Performed each of three years, mycotoxin profiles for 100 New York State animal production units or more after three years.

Objective 2) Performed each year, but most completed in first two years.

Objective 3) Completed by end of the third year.

Objective 4) At completion of first three year period.

Objective 5) Completed during the first year.

Systematic surveys of grains produced and processed in New York and the products made from them by both factories and livestock, will show us where the critical points can be found to turn off the flow of mycotoxins that would otherwise harm our domestic animals and ourselves.

More information
Non-Technical Summary: Mycotoxins are produced by molds found in both animal feedstuffs and human foods. These naturally-occurring poisons can cause cancer, suppress immune systems, increase HIV infection rates, induce malnutrition and interfere with the reproductive system. These reproductive effects include malformation of the genitals, infertility, feminization of males and early puberty and breast development in a variety of mammals, including humans. Individual farmers, small processors and consumers lack the resources to fully and frequently test their foods for these contaminants. With exception of aflatoxins, Federal and State requirements for routine testing of these mycotoxins are entirely inadequate to follow these poisons through the food chain. Even in the case of aflatoxins, on-farm testing is rarely applied as regulatory focus falls on feeds and foods offered for sale after off-farm storage and processing. For this reason, public funding is needed to establish ways to fix this problem, that can later be shared with private mycotoxin monitoring enterprises. We expect that systematic surveys of grains produced and processed in New York and the products made from them by both factories and livestock, will show us where the critical points can be found to turn off the flow of mycotoxins that would otherwise harm our domestic animals and ourselves. The first impact will be awareness on the part of the feed and food industry, the second will be reductions based on recommendations of known steps to reduce contamination and the final step will be experimental implementation of new techniques. The following three populations will benefit from this work: 1. Consumers of New York State foods made from crops susceptible to aflatoxin contamination. 2. Animals and their owners that consume feeds grown and processed in New York. 3. The feed and food producers themselves that will find themselves ready to provide the public with low mycotoxin foodstuffs.

Approach: 1) Recruit 30-100 animal producers to share samples of farm-produced feeds and protocols in exchange for free mycotoxin analyses and consultation. 2) Purchase commercially available feeds from 30-100 companies for sampling. 3) Purchase a wide variety of dairy products, meat and corn-based snack foods from 30-100 retail outlets. 4) Screen samples for aflatoxin and zearalenone (and where appropriate fumonisin, citrinin, ochratoxin and DON) using VICAM minicolumns, Helica ELISA plates, and fluorometry in Brown lab. 5) Precisely characterize the specific types of toxin within each class using HPLC in Animal Science and identify any novel types with LC/MS/MS in Biotech MS facility.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Food and Agriculture
Project source
View this project
Project number
NYC-127428
Accession number
223456
Categories
Natural Toxins
Mycotoxins
Bacterial Pathogens