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
Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University
New findings about the deformed wing virus, a major factor in honey bee colony mortality
11.11.2016 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).
Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...
Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.
The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
05.01.2017 | Event News
17.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
17.01.2017 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2017 | Architecture and Construction