PN-III-P1-1.1-PD-2019-1171-Mycotoxin exposure and risk assessment using human urinary biomarkers in Romania
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Mycotoxin exposure and risk assessment using human urinary biomarkers in Romania
Lecturer Oana Maria Stanciu (married Mîrza), PhD – Project Leader
Prof. Bela Kiss, PhD – Mentor
246.950,00 RON (2 years)
Mycotoxin accumulation in foods represents an important issue for human health and food security as they are responsible for various pathologies, and also it has a high economic significance. From the point of view of toxicology, food safety and economy, three mycotoxins are distinguished: deoxynivalenol (DON), zearalenone (ZEN) and aflatoxins, particularly aflatoxin B1 (AFB1).
In this context, and taking into account also the risks for mycotoxin presence in foodstuffs predicted for the next years (eg. the preference for the organic agriculture, the climate changes in the Balkan area), the aim of the present project proposal is to assess the exposure of Romanian population to multiple mycotoxins (DON, ZEA and AFB1) and characterize the associated risk. For this, a complex biomonitoring study is proposed that suppose the analysis of the parent compounds and their metabolites in human urine (N = 150) using a high-throughput and sensitive ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) analytical method. The specific objectives derived include: 1. application of modern methods to detect ten mycotoxins and metabolites in human urine; 2. evaluation of mycotoxin biomarkers in human urine. 3. mycotoxin exposure evaluation through urinary levels and risk characterization.
The present project has some advantages including easy sampling, sensitive method applied, and complex correlation between urinary mycotoxin levels and eating habits. To date, this will be the first human biomonitoring study using urinary biomarkers for mycotoxins in Romania.
Finally, it should be mentioned that the research area of this proposal is strongly linked with the Horizon 2020 strategy and the results can be used in domains such as agronomy, food safety, health and nutrition.
The aim of the present project is to assess the exposure of Romanian population to multiple mycotoxins (deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and aflatoxin B1) and characterize the associated risk. For this, a complex biomonitoring study is proposed that suppose the analysis of the parent compounds and/or their metabolites in human urine (N = 150) using a high-throughput and sensitive ultra performance liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-MS/MS) analytical method.
Objective 1: The application of modern methods to detect deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and aflatoxin B1 or/and their metabolites in human urine.
Objective 2: The evaluation of mycotoxin biomarkers in human urine (N = 150).
Objective 3: The evaluation of mycotoxin exposure through urinary levels and risk characterization.
Taking into account the increasing preference of the population for organic products (for which some studies mention a higher susceptibility to mycotoxin contamination) and also taking into account the climate changes predicted in the Balkan area for the next 25 years (which may lead to variations in fungi and mycotoxin development), mycotoxin monitoring studies are required.
The present project has various advantages including: 1. easy sampling; 2. once the sensitive method of analysis has been validated, it can be applied periodically in monitoring studies; 3. the Food Consumption Frequency Questionnaire allows an overview of the correlation between eating habits and mycotoxin intake. To the best of our knowledge, this will be the first human biomonitoring study using urinary biomarkers for mycotoxins in Romania.
This new information can be used in areas such as agronomy (to establish new mitigation strategies in Romania in order to expose humans and animals to mycotoxins as low as possible), food safety (to constantly have a situation regarding people's exposure to mycotoxins), health (since mycotoxin ingestion is a public health problem, their presence in the body leading to the installation of some pathologies, including cancers) and nutrition (to ensure adequate, safe and sustainable nutrition counseling).
Moreover, the theme of the project proposal corresponds perfectly to the Horizon 2020 Programme, particularly to the Food & Healthy Diet area and Agri-food sector for a safe and healthy diet area. In addition, the present project proposal targets also the priority area Bioeconomy - Safe, affordable and nutritionally optimized food products from the Romanian strategy for research and innovation 2014-2020 (HG no. 929 / 21.10.2014).