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Research Programme

PROGRAMME 1: BIOPROTECTION AND SAFETY ASSESSMENT OF MYCOTOXINS IN CORN FOR ANIMAL FEED

Mycotoxins are naturally occurring chemical metabolites produced by mycotoxigenic fungi on many crop commodities, including grain corn for animal feed.  Malaysian hot and humid climate is very favourable for fungal growth and mycotoxin production. Among the most prevalent mycotoxins are aflatoxins, fumonisins, and tricothecenes. Fungi growth decreases yield and incurs risk of mycotoxins production along the supply chain. Mycotoxins inflict various illnesses and death if ingested either by human or animal. The research programme covers microbiological (bacteriological, mycological) and chemical (mycotoxins) quality and safety assessments on grain corn intended for animal consumption under the effects of climate change conditions. The research programme consists of five (5) sub-projects: (a) elucidation of  masked and its parent mycotoxins formation in grain corn during storage and their relation to mycotoxigenic fungi, and mycotoxins detection, (b) assessment of mycotoxins along the grain corn supply chain from receiving point (import) to animal consumption at farms, (c) prevalence of major mycotoxigenic fungi (Aspergillus spp., Fusarium spp.) and mycotoxins at grain corn plantation and biological control development under climate change conditions, (d) effects of post-biotic formulation as biopreservative agent on mycotoxicoses caused by contaminated grains in broiler feed, and (e) assessment of bacteriological pathogens (Salmonella spp., Campylobacter spp.) along the poultry production chain. The outcome of the programme includes the development of biological control agent as bioprotection during grain corn plantation, biopreservative agent on mycotoxicoses, mycotoxins rapid method of detection and the safety assessments of mycotoxins in grain corn production, which will provide better insight on its utilisation and consumption by poultry and ruminant animals.


Coordinator:
 
Prof. Dr. Jinap Selamat (Head of Laboratory / Food Chemistry, Chemical Food Safety, Food Safety Risk Assessment, Food Quality Management)


Members:

Prof. Dr. Loh Teck Chwen (Animal Biochemistry)
Dr. Maimunah Sanny (Food Quality Management, Chemical Food Safety)

Dr. Nik Iskandar Putra Samsudin (Mycology, Mycotoxins)
Dr. Noordiana Nordin (Research Officer)

Mrs. Hairen Maswati Hashim (Assistant Science Officer)
Mr. Muhammad Taqiuddin Shith Mohd Shith Putera (Assistant Agriculture Officer)

 

 

PROGRAMME 2: REDUCTION OF CHEMICAL AND MICROBIOLOGICAL CONTAMINANTS IN RICE-BRAN AND RICE PRODUCTS

 

Rice is a staple food and an important food crop in Malaysia. Rice and rice bran are subjected to safety issues which include chemical and microbial contamination. There is a necessity to focus on the strategies on monitoring the level of exposure and mitigation, and controlling the chemical and microbial contamination. Soil in rice paddy fields naturally contain heavy metals and can be polluted by uncontrolled use of pesticides. The level of different heavy metals will vary in soils and paddy. Thus, the level of heavy metals will be assessed from different regions in Malaysia. In addition, high humidity and high moisture conditions in tropical countries like Malaysia provide optimal conditions for toxin-producing fungi and bacteria to grow rapidly. Storage conditions of rice in open area and exposure to rainy season promote growth of mycotoxin-producing fungi and endotoxin-producing bacteria. Fundamental knowledge on the prevalence of mycotoxins in rice and rice bran will be explored. Next, the correlation between the storage conditions of different rice varieties and endotoxin production will also be studied. Apart from that, rice, like many other cereals, has intrinsic allergens that present problems for atopic individuals and depending on breeds, different rice varieties may have different allergenic potencies. There is a need to investigate the allergenicity of these rice varieties in order to provide information regarding the allergenic contents of different rice varieties. Rice is also subjected to adulteration issues. Hence, authentication of different rice varieties will be determined via genomic approach. The outcome of this programme will contribute towards fundamental knowledge on occurrence and risks of chemical and microbial contaminations in rice and rice bran. Control and mitigation strategies proposed in this programme can be further adapted in food supply chain to ensure rice security. 


Coordinator:

Prof. Dr. Son Radu (Molecular Microbiology, Food Safety (Microbiological Risk Assessment, Efficient Microbes)

Members:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ahmad Faizal Abdull Razis (Mechanistic Toxicology, Molecular Toxicology, Food Toxicology, Food Carcinogen)
Dr. Rashidah Sukor (Food Chemistry and Biochemistry, Food Chemical Safety, Immunodiagnostic)
Dr. Nuzul Noorahya Jambari (Food Allergy, Immunology, Molecular Microbiology)

Dr. Noor Azira Abd Mutalib (Microbiology, Food Hygiene and Sanitation)

Mrs. Hairen Maswati Hashim (Assistant Science Officer)
Mr. Muhammad Taqiuddin Shith Mohd Shith Putera (Assistant Agriculture Officer)

Updated:: 14/06/2017 [noordiana]

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INSTITUTE OF TROPICAL AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SECURITY (ITAFoS)
Universiti Putra Malaysia
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Selangor Darul Ehsan
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