Towards harmonized approaches for mycotoxin analyses: an assessment

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Abstract

Mycotoxins (the poisonous metabolites of certain filamentous fungi) are potential contaminants of staple food commodities and, if uncontrolled, may present a significant public health hazard. In many jurisdictions, questions relating to mycotoxin contamination are addressed at both generic and specific levels by food-safety legislation. Key to the successful management of the mycotoxin question, both in terms of verifying food-safety measures by the agri-food businesses and ensuring compliance with statutory limits by enforcement agencies, is the use of reliable sampling and analytical methodology. Evidence from European Union Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed data suggest that harmonization of methodologies used to determine the mycotoxin content of foods would contribute to improved compliance at both regulatory and commercial levels.

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