The deterioration of food commodities by biotic factors is a serious and widespread problem. In particular, the contamination of different food and feed commodities by ochratoxin A (OTA) produced by several widespread fungi represents a serious health risk due to the high toxicity of OTA. This toxin causes nephrotoxic, genotoxic, immunosuppressive and carcinogenic effects on humans and animals. It is therefore necessary to have a close surveillance of the presence of this mycotoxin in food, beverages and feed through efficient, reliable and rapid analytical methods. The availability of low cost analytical methods which join reliability and rapidity is highly desired by the small medium enterprises (SMEs).
In this project we will develop a novel system able to perform detection and quantification of OTA in wine, beer and feed, through a linear array of a-Si:H photosensors deposited on a glass substrate. The photosensors will be coupled with surfaces treated in different ways in order to establish the best functionalization of the considered food matrix and will be integrated in a compact, portable equipment. Several food and feed matrices (wine, beer, cereals), both naturally contaminated or fortified with OTA, will be extracted with different extraction methods and analysed by the novel system. The liquid samples (wine, beer) will be also analysed by direct deposition without any extraction procedure. The results obtained with this system will be compared with those obtained by using traditional analytical methods.
Therefore the proposed system will allow to perform low cost, rapid and reliable analyses, not only in a well equipped laboratory but also in a canteen, or in a brewery as well as in a farm, satisfying the requirements of SMEs for an effective food quality control.
Call for proposal
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Funding SchemeBSG-SME - Research for SMEs
6100 266 Cernache Do Bonjardim
3780-502 Qis Do Bairro