Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by fungi that occur naturally in foodstuffs, which can cause a large variety of toxic effects on vertebrates, including humans. The risk assessment of chemical substances like mycotoxins should be based on the determination of the degree of human exposure through the diet. The available data on toxico-kinetics of several mycotoxins in animal models indicate that exposure to mycotoxins can be measured by biomarkers in human urine. In the recent years, the liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) based multi-analyte approach has been successfully introduced into the field of mycotoxin analysis, including the evaluation of suitable biomarkers for assessment of human exposure to mycotoxins. This project aims to validate and apply analytical methods using LC-MS/MS for evaluation of simultaneous analysis of 11 mycotoxins in food products and dust from the grain storage environment and feed mills, as follows: aflatoxins (AFB1, AFB2, AFG1 and AFG2, fumonisins (FB1 and FB2), ochratoxin A (OTA), zearalenone (ZEA), deoxynivalenol (DON), toxin T-2 and HT-2; to determine toxigenic fungi in dust in the grain storage environment and feed mills; and determination of multi-mycotoxin biomarkers of exposure to the mentioned mycotoxins (AFM1, AFP1, AFQ1), FB1, OTA, T-2, HT-2, DON, DOM-1, ZEA, ±-ZOL and ²-ZOL) in urine from volunteers of the regions of Pirassununga and Descalvado, State of São Paulo, Brazil. The risk assessment to mycotoxins through food products and urine biomarkers will also be assessed. The project will therefore provide new data on occupational exposure to mycotoxins in Brazilian residents, as well as the use of LC-MS/MS techniques for determinations of multiple mycotoxins in food products, dust and biomarkers of exposure to mycotoxins.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: