Besides nutritional issues and food quality, food safety is one of the major tasks of the scientific portfolio of the Max Rubner-Institut. Mycotoxins are a general threat to food safety, especially in developing countries. It is generally accepted that the only way to combat mycotoxin production in foods by fungi, and to prevent their toxic impact on humans and animals, is the most complete knowledge about the whole fungal/food/human relationship, which is tried to be covered during the conference.
The occurrence of mycotoxins in certain food commodities is a global problem, which is related to the geographic location considered. The specific climatic conditions and the hygienic and quality standards of the food processing chain have an important impact on mycotoxin occurrence and prevention. Because of their high toxicity most important mycotoxins are regulated at the EU level. This is not the case in all parts of the world. Moreover, the situation is not static because masked and emerging mycotoxins can come into focus. To control mycotoxin occurrence, a profound knowledge about fungi as producing organisms is a prerequisite. Especially the knowledge about the occurrence of mycotoxin producing fungi in certain foods, as well as the physiology of mycotoxin biosynthesis in food systems is of importance to develop counteractive measures. For a critical food safety assessment modern sensitive analytical methods are needed to identify geographical differences in the occurrence of mycotoxins or food commodities which are especially prone to be contaminated. Quantitative analytical data are also important for food toxicological analysis, to develop biomarkers for toxin uptake, and to study carry over effects. The best way to control mycotoxin biosynthesis in foods is the prevention of the growth of the mycotoxigenic fungi. Because of the complexity of the conditions, this, however, is not completely possible. Several approaches to control mycotoxin biosynthesis by using fungicides, adjusting environmental conditions or using biocontrol agents are being followed. Moreover technological treatments during food processing can reduce the mycotoxin content of a food. Albeit a complete inhibition of mycotoxin biosynthesis is difficult to achieve the ongoing research has made great steps forward in that direction.
During MRC2018, the most important issues concerning mycotoxins, along the safety aspects of foods will be covered. International experts on the fields of global mycotoxin problems, governmental regulation, mycotoxigenic fungi, analytics, toxicology and prevention will present their data and views. Up-to-date information and scientific opinions will be presented.