Due to climate change, mycotoxins have become more prevalent in grains and other materials. Their increasing importance is reflected in an attendance of around 450 delegates at the World Mycotoxin Forum held in Rotterdam this week.
The increasing world population demands more and safe food in the future. The change in climate has in many places had a detrimental effect on crop harvests and on product quality, often due to mould infestations, which secondary metabolites, the mycotoxins, end up in feed and foodstuffs.
The importance of mycotoxins is reflected in de number of scientific papers published on the subject. Rudolf Krska of the Department IFA-Tulin in Austria said that since 1996 some 9,000 scientific papers on mycotoxins have been published and more than 136,000 citations have been made.
This was confirmed by Wim Schreuders, head of the Dutch food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (VWA). He said that in Europe mycotoxins are the number one reason for rapid alerts regarding food safety.
Krska introduced the four-day programme of the World Mycotoxin Forum, which is held at the Beurs (Exchange) of the World Trade Centre in Rotterdam this week and is combined with the XIIIth IUPAC International symposium on Mycotoxins and Phycotoxins.
Some 450 delegates from around 40 countries came to the Dutch harbour city. “Regarding the economic recession and the fact that the delegates have to pay for their attendance, travel and accommodation this is a good number,” said Heleen Bastiaanse of Bastiaanse communication, organiser of the event.
Later this week, the delegates will be entertained with numerous presentations and workshops and during the breaks they can browse more than 200 poster presentations or chat with representatives of the sponsors of the event at the mini-market place that has been set up.
On Friday there is an excursion to the port of Rotterdam for a special workshop on import control. In this workshop it will be shown how the VWA in practice samples raw materials and cooperates with customs and what measures are in place after violation of regulations.
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