To develop information needed for hazard identification (identification and production of mycotoxins), risk assessment (occurrence and toxicity) and risk management (analytical methods for monitoring and regulatory actions).
Mycotoxins produced by molds are common contaminants of many important food crops, including wheat, corn, and peanuts. Some mycotoxins are found in fruits and vegetables. These contaminants have a broad range of toxic effects, including carcinogenicity, neurotoxicity, and reproductive and developmental toxicity. In addition to their potential human toxicity, many mycotoxins have antibiotic activity and may influence the growth of pathogenic bacteria. Regulatory limits,including international standards, have tremendous economic impact and must be developed on science-based risk assessments to have validity. The purpose of this research is to generate the information, including exposure and toxicity data, needed for risk assessments and to develop analytical methods for control programs (regulatory and HACCP). The studies involved in the development of data also include microbial ecology, particularly the relationships of mycotoxins with pathogenic bacteria, and the effects of processing on mycotoxin levels in human foods, as well as assessment of various types of toxicity.
Project reduce exposure to mycotoxins in foods and feeds and will provide the Agency with necessary data for setting FDA guidelines on mycotoxins.