Collaborating to Tackle Aflatoxins across the Supply Chain

06/17/2022

Cuckston, Georgina

Science Communications Manager

Chris E at WMF

Did you know that in a global survey spanning almost a decade researchers discovered mycotoxin contamination in over 76% of 25,900 samples of grains and grain byproducts destined for animal diets1?

Aflatoxins, a type of mycotoxin, are toxic chemical compounds produced by molds such as Aspergillus Flavus and can be found in every growing region in the world. Cereals such as corn, rice, wheat, oats, and barley are all susceptible to contamination by A. flavus. Ingredients such as lentils, quinoa and sweet potatoes can also be affected.

These food safety challenges are global in nature and cannot be addressed by one entity alone. That’s why collaboration is critical; it’s also why the Food Safety Coalition (FSC) was formed: to bring together a group of like-minded organizations to progress solutions in the critical food safety solutions at pace. Specifically, data and knowledge sharing to address the challenge of aflatoxin contamination in raw materials.

In this work, coalition members are working together pre-competitively to drive new insights through a series of ground-breaking studies across key topics such as sampling, risk assessment, prediction, and risk communication.

The goal: to create actionable solutions to help address a serious this growing food safety challenge and build practicable insights and supply chain resilience.

"It was an honor to be able to present the great work of the coalition at the World Mycotoxin Forum. The issues associated with aflatoxins in food is a worldwide and growing problem and only through such collaborative approaches will impactful and sustainable solutions be found."

- Prof. Chris Elliott

In the first official presentation on the FSC coalition member Prof. Chris Elliott, from Queen’s University, Belfast shared the mission, framework and top-level progress of the coalition, finishing with an important call to action for others—from businesses to governments to international organizations—to share their insights and help find impactful and sustainable solutions for aflatoxin risk management.

   Prof. Chris Elliott Presenting at WMF

Learn more about the work of the coalition, including the outcomes of the first meeting here: https://gfsc.mars.com/news-and-events/summary-food-safety-coalition-workshop-may-2021

About the World Mycotoxin Forum (WMF) 2022

WMF is the leading international meeting series on mycotoxins dedicated to assembling the world’s best minds across the spectrum of integrated strategies ensuring the safety and security of the food and feed supply chain. The 13th Conference of the WMF takes place in Parma, Italy from May 16-May 18, 2022.

1. R. Murugesan, et al., “Prevalence and Effects of Mycotoxins on Poultry Health and Performance, and Recent Development in Mycotoxin Counteracting Strategies,” Poultry Science, 2015. doi: 10.3382/ps/pev075.