The MYCOHUNT project aims at increasing the competitiveness of a large group of SMEs by developing a cost-effective method to detect infection of DON in wheat grains, a major threat to the food and feed sector of the European industry. A group of SME Associations, covering the two sectors and representing vast number of SMEs, have put together this project in order to gain knowledge and resources to further exploit the results of the novel technology proposed by providing a thorough sampling and measurement method of grain.

The economic consequences of mycotoxin infection to animal husbandry and the cost of infected crop to farmers as well as mill and storage house owners are of increasing concern while human health and safety effects are and must be addressed additionally.

PROJECT RESULTS 

  • The MYCOHUNT system was fully designed reflecting the content of the system specification with the assistance of SME Association and SME partners.
  • The MYCOHUNT concept of testing DON from wheat dust has been proven via defining the correlation between DON found in wheat grain samples and in wheat dust samples.
  • DON selective antibodies have been developed to be used in the immunosensor for DON detection.¬† Assay development and characterization for the immunosensor is under progress.
  • The components of the prototype have been constructed and integrated into a complete system including the sampling unit, the sensor unit and their control system.
  • After testing the system at laboratory level to validate the technical requirements, MYCOHUNT was installed at the end-user facilities.
  • Field tests were performed to demonstrate the operational and functional performance of the complete system. Based on the test results the system was fine-tuned and the procedures of the optimal performance were defined.
  • Final results, optimization measurements including lessons learnt and recommendations for the future commercial MYCOHUNT system were reported to enable results owners to achieve good market exploitation potential.