Who is this for?
The Mycotoxin Training Hub aims to deliver problem-specific short-term courses and research opportunities tailored for each actor of the agrifood industry. We aim to break the barrier between academia and industry to tackle the challenges associated with mycotoxin contamination, with the goal to feed 9 billion people safely and sustainably by 2050 and support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 15 and 17.
Awareness of the challenges the agrifood chain is facing today and will face in the future (e.g. Brexit, regulation changes, climate change) and the need to train the agrifood chain through targeted and efficient training and research programmes, Cranfield University launched the Mycotoxin Training Hub in 2021.
Cranfield hosts the applied mycology group, an internationally-recognised Centre of Excellence in specialised areas of the application of fungal technology in the food, environment and health sectors. This centre has more than 30 years of experience in mycotoxin management and enjoys an excellent scientific reputation within the area, with 250+ scientific papers and extensive dissemination in industrial magazines, including:
- Super-food oats under threat from mycotoxins
- Cranfield and University College Dublin look into risk of mycotoxin contamination in oats
- Minimising mycotoxin risks in real time
T-2 and HT-2 in oats
Since 2012, the EU and the UK have an indicative level for T-2 and HT-2 mycotoxin contamination levels in oats, with potential enforcement of a maximum level in the near future. This is an imminent threat to the industry, especially as currently routine checks are very sparse. It is a challenge, particularly as Fusarium langsethiae, the main producer of T-2 and HT-2, lack visual symptoms, resulting in challenges to assess the level of toxin contamination and/or sort the contaminated grains.
The Mycotoxin Training Hub identified challenges regarding the accuracy of currently commercialised easy-to-use test kits in the UK, and have developed good agricultural practices jointly with key oat milling industry partners. The skills gained are currently being converted into short-term training opportunities from our fellows in higher education.
Aflatoxin in peanuts
Aflatoxins are among the most carcinogenic substances naturally known. We have been actively joining the worldwide effort for the last 30 years in developing mitigation strategies to minimise their exposure in the worldwide agrifood chain. More recently, founders of the Cranfield Mycotoxin Training Hub have developed the NutriNuts project jointly with Haramaya University and Hilina Enriched Foods to develop our sister Ethiopian Mycotoxin Training Hub, currently training and increasing awareness of aflatoxin challenges in Ethiopia.