Lab-on-a-Chip System for Detection of Mycotoxins in Animal Feed
Mycotoxins are health hazardous metabolites produced by fungi growing on foodstuffs or animal feed. Upon exposure they impact on the productivity of livestock including diary products. As the result of livestock feeding on contaminated commodities, mycotoxins carry over to the human food chain via meat or other animal products. This poses a high risk to human health as some of the most common mycotoxins are carcinogenic, genotoxic, or target the kidney or liver. It is now well established that acute mycotoxicoses (the diseases caused by mycotoxins) have been responsible for major epidemics in man and animals. Since mycotoxins are robust, small molecules that are not easily destroyed by temperature treatments occurring during cooking, baking or freezing processes and even fermentation, it is necessary to avoid usage of contaminated food and feed upfront. However, the presence of mycotoxins is not detectable by visual screening due to the fact that high amounts of toxins may still exist even after removal or destruction of the generating organisms. Hence availability of sensitive, accurate and affordable tests for the detection and quantisation of mycotoxin in feeds is of great interest for the care of health.