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ProGnosis Biotech launches test to detect T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxins

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By Joe Whitworth+


Picture: iStock.
Picture: iStock.

ProGnosis Biotech has launched an ELISA test to detect Trichothecene T-2/HT-2 in grains, cereals and animal feed.

The Bioshield T2/HT-2 ELISA kit is 15 minutes long, its quantification range is 0-500 ppb and recovery rate is 96.4%.

T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxins belong to the trichothecene group which are produced mainly by fungi of the genus Fusarium.

As with every quantitative test, the result has to be read with a spectrophotometer at 450nm.

ProGnosis Biotech is a biotechnology manufacturer-producer with headquarters in Larissa, Greece and administration/sales offices in Thessaloniki which focuses on mycotoxins and milk adulteration.

It has a presence in Europe, Middle East, China and Latin America as an export company and also produces antibodies, conjugates, ELISA kits and lateral-flow sticks (rapid tests).

ELISA for high sample number

“ELISA is one of three common methods for mycotoxins, the others being lateral flow or LC-MS, which is replacing HPLC,” the firm told FoodQualityNews.

“ELISA is the best analytical tool when testing a relatively high number of samples with the lowest cost, the lowest limit of detection and without the need for sophisticated high-cost equipment.

“With HPLC or LC-MS you need to examine sample by sample, at a much higher cost and a considerable investment in equipment.

“The EU has not yet regulated T-2/HT-2 limits but since 2013 there has been a proposition by the Commission which could be implemented within the next few months.

“T-2/HT-2 is found mostly in colder climates and on field and not in storage conditions. It is most common in Northern Europe, Canada and Russia. It is associated mostly with oats but it can appear also in wheat (soft or durum) and barley.

“It is highly toxic, more than DON or ZON, and can have a direct impact on humans even in low concentrations.

“LOD of the test is 5 ppb and LOQ is 10 ppb. LOD does not mean a lot for a sampler who wants to know a number as a final result. It is used as a ‘yes or no’. LOQ gives you exactly what you want to know.”

ProGnosis Biotech has ELISA kits for all regulated mycotoxins, such as Aflatoxin B1, Afla Total, DON, Zearalenone, Fumonisins and Ochratoxin A which take between 15-20 minutes.

Sampling advice and extraction methods

The company said in general, common methods of sampling are of different spots from different batches.

“We offer advice on how to take samples, how and which spots to pick from and a lot of kilograms. When extracting with 70% methanol 30% distilled water it is better to use 20g of each sample instead of 5g to 10g.

In general, there is a trend switching to buffers that have distilled water and extra ingredients. No kit can recover the same, methanol remains a good extractor solvent. It will be pushed away but for the moment it is the best way to recover toxin.

“ISO 14675:2003 has specifications which nowadays are obsolete because ELISA has moved forward in contrast to the specifications.”

Scale of analysis and priority of mycotoxins depends on the country climate, said the company.

“Mycotoxins are checked in several quality control approaches depending on the country climate, the size of the problem and the size of the organization that performs the control.

“Fungus is common in nature, mycotoxins derive from fungi which produce toxins under stress conditions.

Climate change, temperature rise, humidity and insect survival as they become tolerant to insecticides are the main factors that can stress fungus for on field mycotoxins. Infrastructure can facilitate good and stable temperature in facilities with ventilation and siloes.”

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