MycoSafeBread – Innovative cereal processing methods to produce mycotoxin-safe bread

In MycoSafeBread the goal is to use new milling technology together with mycotoxin-reducing processing to manufacture bread products tailored for young children, with an absolute minimum of the mycotoxin DON, while meeting the recommendations for wholegrain consumption and nutrient composition.

MycoSafeBread aim to develop Norwegian bread products tailor-made for young children; with an absolute minimum of the mycotoxin DON (from mold). Photo: Colourbox

Cereals are often compromised by contamination with the mycotoxin deoxynivalenol (DON), and the average consumption of grain-based food in toddlers is approximately 5 times as much as for adults. Governmental health recommendation to increase the consumption of wholegrain due to the high content of dietary fibers, is aggravating the challenge with mycotoxin contamination because mycotoxins are usually located in outer parts of the grain (bran). The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food estimated that the high end dietary intake of DON in children is exceeding the tolerable daily intake by 3-4 fold. The health consequences of this are not known, but recent research in our group showed behavioral changes in mice exposed to low doses of DON (read more). Others have shown inflammatory responses in gut and brain of mice. There is a continuous need to safeguard cereal-based food, in particular products highly consumed by children.

In MycoSafeBread various processing technologies will be used to separate, treat, and recombine cereal fractions to produce breads with even lower levels of DON. The project is also going to compare the bioaccessibility of DON in children and adults using in vitro digestion models. MycoSafeBread will develop and strengthen competence within cereal processing technologies, product design and innovation, and explore combinations of traditional and new processing technologies. The results of the project will contribute to maintain food safety and nutritional recommendations, as well as consumer confidence and increased value in the cereal production chain.

The research team consists of a strong alliance of scientists within the fields of cereal processing (Nofima) and mycotoxin chemistry (NVI). MycoSafeBread is a 3 years project funded by the Norwegian Research Council, and will start in July 2020.