12 July 2002

Toxin testing of grain

MYCOTOXIN testing of cereal grains is becoming increasingly popular among millers and maltsters, with a noticeable trend towards buyers earlier in the food chain getting the checks done, says the CSL.

EU limits on the potentially harmful toxins produced by ear diseases and in-store moulds are being discussed and it seems grain buyers are checking levels now as a form of due diligence ahead of any limits on permissible contents, says Chris Danks of the CSL, which offers a lab-based testing service.

"Nobody seems to be using the tests to influence buying decision yet, it is more a case of monitoring what the levels are in grain as a form of due diligence."

On-farm test kits are being developed, but will be specific to individual toxins, not the full range and results will be very much dependent upon sampling technique, he says. &#42