The research proposal MycoSafe-South, the “European–African partnership for safe and efficient use of mycotoxin-mitigation strategies in sub-Saharan Africa” has been approved by the selection committee of LEAP-Agri.

It is co-funded by the Belgian Federal Science Policy Office (BELSPO), Belgian National Fund for Scientific Research (NFSR), Research Council of Norway (RCN), Kenyan Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST), South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF), BIOMIN Holding GmbH, Harbro Ltd.

Start: 1 September 2018, duration 3 years, budget: 795,492 Euro.

This project aims:

  1. to provide safe-use options for aflatoxins (AFs) and/or fumonisins (FBs)-contaminated food for children and adults through means of safe and efficient post-harvest intervention strategies, including nixtamalization, dehulling, fermentation and the usage of mycotoxin binders and/or modifiers investigated via in vitro and in vivo studies,
  2. to develop intervention strategies to reduce human (paediatric) exposure to AFs through animal products (i.e. milk, meat and eggs), and
  3. to improve sustainability of the acquired results by organizing education programmes and awareness campaigns that will facilitate best practices, transfer the acquired knowledge and help stakeholders to understand mycotoxin-associated health risks.

Important MycoSafe-South project outcomes will include:

  1. WP1: Safety and efficacy of food processing techniques and mycotoxin binders/modifiers in human (children): in vitro and in vivo piglet model. Safe and efficient food-processing techniques that will be distributed to stakeholders, by a.o. the Kenyan Cereal Millers Association and the iZindaba Zokudla project (an isiZulu phrase for ‘Conversations about food’, which aims to create opportunities for urban agriculture in a sustainable food system);
  2. WP2: Human intervention pilot studies. Reliable information and training sessions to African (grand)mothers and husbands on the health risks associated with mycotoxins and how to use the mitigation methods;
  3. WP3: Decreasing aflatoxin M1 contamination in milk of different African dairy species. Safe and efficient mycotoxin detoxifiers for African dairy cattle that will be distributed to stakeholders, by a.o. the Kenyan Cereal Millers Association, the iZindaba Zokudla Farmers’ Lab and BIOMIN;
  4. WP4: Decreasing aflatoxins contamination in poultry food products: safe and efficient mycotoxin detoxifiers for African laying hens and broiler chickens that will be distributed to stakeholders, by a.o. the Kenyan Cereal Millers Association, the iZindaba Zokudla Farmers’ Lab and BIOMIN;
  5. WP3+WP4: reliable information on how AFs and FBs in feed contribute to negative animal health and production effects in African dairy cattle, laying hens and broiler chickens;
  6. WP5: Communication & knowledge transfer.

The consortium creates opportunities for young researchers by assigning 4 PhD students to conduct this research at both European and African institutes.

Consortium Coordinators and Partners:

  1. GHENT UNIVERSITY, MYTOX-SOUTH (Belgium), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, Toxicology and Biochemistry (Prof. dr. S. Croubels and dr. G. Antonissen, Consortium Project Coordinators) – Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Laboratory of Food Analysis (Prof. dr. S. De Saeger and dr. M. De Boevre).
  2. UNIVERSITY OF JOHANNESBURG (South-Africa), Department of Biotechnology and Food Technology (Prof. dr. P. Njobeh).
  3. UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI (Kenya), Department of Pathology, Parasitology and Microbiology (dr. J.K. Gathumbi).
  4. NORWEGIAN VETERINARY INSTITUTE (Norway), Chemistry Section (dr. S. Uhlig).
  5. UNIVERSITY OF LIÈGE (Belgium), Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Department of Food Sciences (Prof. dr. M.-L. Scippo and Prof. dr. V. Delcenserie).
  6. INTERNATIONAL LIVESTOCK RESEARCH INSTITUTE (ILRI) (Kenya) (dr. J. Lindahl, dr. D. Grace and Prof. dr. E. Kang’ethe).
  7. BIOMIN HOLDING GmbH (Austria), Biomin Research Center (dr. G. Schatzmayr).
  8. HARBRO Ltd (United Kingdom) (Prof. dr. N. Jonsson).
  9. Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA) (Ethiopia) (Ms. E. Ogutu).

For more information please visit our website: http://mycosafe-south.org

Contact: Gunther.Antonissen@UGent.be

This post was originally published at PAEPARD by François Stepman. It has been republished here with permission.

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