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Owing to the potential harm mycotoxins can cause to humans and animals, mycotoxins are subject to stringent regulations. This is why testing and screening for mycotoxins is so important. But, why use rapid tests for the screening of mycotoxins?

Mycotoxin management

Growers and food safety professionals are mindful of the different flash-points when mycotoxins can form and will use different management techniques during pre-harvest, harvest and post-harvest to try to reduce the presence of mycotoxins. Techniques include:

  • Insect infestation management
  • Management of crop residues
  • Irrigation and soil condition
  • Physical decontamination
  • Biological decontamination
  • Chemical inactivation
  • Use of chemicals
More information about integrated mycotoxin management systems can be found here http://www.fao.org/docrep/x2100t/x2100t07.htm.
 

So, in conjunction with these mycotoxin management techniques, there will be a requirement to prove to clients, consumers and regulatory authorities that foodstuff destined for human consumption doesn’t contain more than the acceptable level of mycotoxin.

The robust nature of mycotoxins means they have the ability to grow at many steps in the food supply chain, even surviving food processing. Therefore, using lateral flow technology brings the laboratory to the field or grain store allowing testing and screening to be carried out at the source.

What are rapid tests?

Rapid tests are easy to use diagnostic devices that provide results quickly. Although there are different types of rapid tests, for this article we will discuss lateral flow immunoassays.

Why use rapid tests for mycotoxins?

Reports carried out in the past by The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), have documented at least 25% of the world’s food crops are contaminated with mycotoxins. So, irrespective of the testing methods employed by an organisation there is a potential for mycotoxin to have a significant impact on yield and income.

But, having a rapid solution for the detection of mycotoxins has multiple benefits for food safety professionals in order to protect yield and aid the deliver safe food to consumers:

  • Rapid tests are cost-effective mycotoxin detection solution
  • Crops can be tested at varying points of the growing cycle
  • Results for the levels of mycotoxins can be provided at the source
  • Multiple employees can use the tests as minimal training is required
  • Tests enable faster decision making
  • The portable nature of mycotoxin rapid tests mean they can be used anywhere

By using a mycotoxin rapid test, food safety professionals can get the rapid results they require in various testing scenarios. The presence of a mycotoxin is provided there and then.

Who benefits from using rapid tests for mycotoxins?

Ultimately, the main beneficiary of the use of mycotoxin rapid tests is the consumer as rapids tests are tools that are used to aid the safe passage of food destined for human consumption.

Growers and food safety professionals are the ones who benefit from rapid tests on a daily basis.

A grower benefits because rapid tests can be used throughout the growing cycle in order to monitor the presence or absence of mycotoxins thus providing a solution to help maintain yield and the quality of produce.

For food safety professionals, rapid tests allow them to provide instant feedback to their clients or colleagues in order to then offer suitable suggestions and advice or indeed quarantine a crop.

Our tests

Pocket Diagnostic® has a range of mycotoxin rapid tests and will detect the following mycotoxins:

  • Aflatoxin B1
  • Total Aflatoxin
  • Ochratoxin A
  • Fumonisin
  • Zearalenone (ZEA)
  • Deoxynivalenol (DON) or Vomitoxin,
  • H-2/T-2

For companies interested in incorporating Pocket Diagnostic® mycotoxin tests into their routine food safety procedures please contact a member of our team on 444 (0) 1904 406050 or at info@pocketdiagnostic.com.