MycoSafe-South: European–African partnership for safe and efficient use of mycotoxin-mitigation strategies in sub-Saharan Africa (2018-2021)

MycoSafe-South is the “European–African partnership for safe and efficient use of mycotoxin-mitigation strategies in sub-Saharan Africa”, and intends to harness the expertise and infrastructure available in Europe by strengthening the capacity of the Southern partners to tackle the mycotoxin problem and the associated food safety issues. This project will identify safe and efficient mitigation strategies to reduce aflatoxins (AFs) and fumonisins (FBs) exposure in Africa, with special focus on children. The MycoSafe-South project is lead and coordinated by researchers from the University of Ghent.

The project aims are (1) to provide safe-use options for AFs and/or 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.
The consortium will address the above stated aims following an inter-institutional approach in the frame of 4 joint European-African PhD candidates, which are interconnected and linked to four work packages (WPs) (Fig. 1).

Objectives of the Norwegian team

The objectives of the Norwegian team are primarily linked to WP1 and WP2 of the MycoSafe-South project. They are to
• Co-supervise the PhD-candidate working with the piglet models (WP1)
• Adapt and improve methods for the chemical analysis of AF-biomarkers in blood and urine
• Quantify AF-biomarkers in blood and urine obtained in the piglet trials (WP1) and the pilot human intervention study (WP2)
• Organise the mid-term workshop
• Ensure good communication and knowledge transfer

Fig. 1. Integration of the Norwegian contributions into the MycoSafe-South project.