Joining Forces: Breaking the Mold
In our ongoing series profiling collaborations between industry and academia, we look at a partnership finding better ways to detect dangerous fungal toxins in our food.
Franz Berthiller, John Lee |
Tell us about your project...
Franz Berthiller: Mycotoxins are poisonous metabolites produced by fungi, which can pose a serious food safety threat. A famous fungal metabolite is aflatoxin B1 – it’s one of the most carcinogenic compounds known to mankind, and we’re still finding it in food. John approached us because BOKU is a leading center focused on researching mycotoxins, with expertise from analytical scientists, toxicologists, and plant biologists. Mycotoxins are highly diverse and so we used to have separate methods for each mycotoxin, with different extraction, clean-up, and measuring modes. In 2005, I published the first method that could analyze nine mycotoxins at once. John wanted to work with us to come up with easier methods for mycotoxin testing, allowing Agilent to offer labs a “mycotoxin testing kit” including the instrument, method, standards and set-up. So Agilent offered to provide us with a high-end tandem quadrupole LC-MS instrument and technical support to help us in that goal.
John Lee: It’s academics like Franz who truly understand not just how to make methods more efficient, but also to increase their scope – they’re the people we want to work with so we can offer truly cutting-edge workflows.
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- Agilent Technologies, “Simultaneous determination of 16 mycotoxins in cereals using an Agilent Triple Quadrupole LC/MS system and e-Method”. Available at: bit.ly/2iM7dah. Accessed December 2017.
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