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Monitoring the Presence of Ergot Alkaloids in Cereals and a Study of the Possible Relationship between Occurrence of Sclerotia Content and Levels of Ergot Alkaloids


<p>The aim of this research is to understand the pathways by which these contaminants enter food, the levels at which they occur, and the mechanisms by which they accumulate through the food chain.</p>

<p>About 200 samples of wheat, barley, rye and oats will be collected and analysed for the occurrence of the six main types of alkaloids. It is expected there will be up to 50 samples of each cereal group comprising up to 10 rejects and 40 non-rejects. Rejected samples will be sorted to separate cereal and apparent sclerotia. Sclerotia content will be recorded. All samples and fractions will be analysed to determine the presence of the alkaloids. An investigation into any possible link between the occurrence of the sclerotia content and the level of alkaloids will be carried out by the analyst. The aim is to provide comprehensive data that will be presented in a European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) format for eventual submission to EFSA, along with a final report detailing the results and findings regarding a relationship between the occurrence of sclerotia content and ergot alkaloids.</p>

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<p>Background: The proposed work links to the FSA Science and Evidence Strategy since it will support the outcome that food produced or sold in the UK is safe to eat by improving our understanding of the nature, patterns, trends and importance for health, of risks from the ergot alkaloids. Further information on ergot alkaloids is available at work will also improve our ability to anticipate and minimise the effects of food and feed incidents. The work aims to support a consistent, evidence-based view of proportionate, effective regulation and enforcement across the food chain. The project will involve data generation, analysis and research to understand the risks and benefits of options for controls, in order to identify which options work best to reduce risks and adverse impacts on health. It also allows for monitoring of critical gaps to protect consumers from risks to public health from food. </p>

Campden BRI
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