Professor Chris Elliott, Director of the Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use at Queen’s, will lead a team of scientists in developing new tests aimed to protect the public from potentially fatal toxins in a wide range of foods including meat, poultry, milk, seafood and cereals.
He believes that the project will result in safer food being made available to consumers across Europe.
The project entitled Conffidence, is being co-ordinated by the RIKILT Food Safety Institute in The Netherlands and involves 17 partners from ten European countries. Queen’s has been awarded over £300,000 for their role in the project.
Professor Elliott said: “The presence of chemical contaminants in food is a major concern for both European governments and consumers, as seen with the recent pork scare across Ireland in recent days.
“Thankfully the presence of chemical contaminants in food are fatal in only a small number of cases. However the true effects of long term exposure to these toxins are far from clear and may present significant heath risks.
“Regulatory Authorities and the food industries spend large amounts to monitor and control the safety of both food products and animal feed.
“This monitoring often uses expensive methods that can only detect one specific chemical so there is an urgent need for replacement of current methods by validated screening tools, which are simple, inexpensive and rapid and are able to detect as many chemical contaminants in parallel as possible.
“Queen’s main focus will be on developing highly innovative means of detecting natural toxins, produced by plants and fungi, in a wide range of foods.”
The Conffidence project has been designed to provide long-term solutions to the monitoring of a wide variety of chemical contaminants. These include pesticides, persistent organic pollutants, veterinary pharmaceuticals including antibiotics, heavy metals, plant and natural toxins.
Tests will be developed and validated for products including fish and fish feed, cereal-based food and vegetables. The tests will also study the transfer of harmful contaminants from feed to eggs and meat.
New technology is set to be used, including dipstick tests used in the same way as pregnancy tests, as well as low-cost high-volume laboratory-based methods.
The methods devised will then be used to carry out international food surveys that will help measure consumer exposure to chemical contaminants.
Andrea Clements | alfa
Faba fix for corn's nitrogen need
11.04.2018 | American Society of Agronomy
Wheat research discovery yields genetic secrets that could shape future crops
09.04.2018 | John Innes Centre
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research
20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy