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Special Issue "Food Safety and Natural Toxins"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 January 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Mary Fletcher

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: natural toxins, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, mycotoxins, indospicine, ptaquiloside
Guest Editor
Dr. Gabi Netzel

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Qld 4072, Australia
Website | E-Mail
Interests: natural toxins, indospicine, phytonutrients, bioavailability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural toxins are poisonous secondary metabolites produced by living organisms, which are typically not harmful to the organisms themselves but can impact on human or animal health when consumed.  Common sources of such toxins include poisonous plant, fungi, algae and bacteria, and the diversity of these biological systems presents challenges to analytical chemists and wide-ranging food safety implications when present as contaminants in food commodities. The propensity for such toxins to be present in both animal feed and human food has led to the introduction of regulations for a small number of the most potent natural toxins, particularly mycotoxins and pyrrolizidine alkaloids. Implementation of these regulations necessitates the establishment of high throughput analytical chemistry methods, such as LC-MS and GC-MS, with increasingly lower limits of detection, and the production of isotopically labelled analogues as internal standards to increase the reliability of analysis in complex matrices. Impacts of plant toxins are not limited to grazing livestock but can be carried through the food chain, with some toxins, such as indospicine, being demonstrated to accumulate in tissues of grazing animals and cause secondary poisoning in animals consuming meat from these livestock. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids also have generated significant concern in recent years as potential contaminants in honey through pollen and nectar transfer from flowers into this common food commodity. This Special Issue will focus on analysis of natural toxins, their incidence from source organisms to food and feed commodities, and implications for food safety.

Prof. Mary Fletcher
Dr. Gabi Netzel
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • natural toxins
  • mycotoxins
  • plant toxins
  • residue analysis
  • food safety

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Detection of Shiga Toxin 2 Produced by Escherichia coli in Foods Using a Novel AlphaLISA
Toxins 2018, 10(11), 422; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10110422
Received: 14 September 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
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Abstract
Amplified luminescent proximity homogenous assay-linked immunosorbent assay (AlphaLISA) is comprised of a bead-based immunoassay that is used for small molecule detection. In this study, a novel AlphaLISA was developed and optimized for the detection of Shiga-toxin 2 (Stx2). Efficacy and sensitivity trials showed
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Amplified luminescent proximity homogenous assay-linked immunosorbent assay (AlphaLISA) is comprised of a bead-based immunoassay that is used for small molecule detection. In this study, a novel AlphaLISA was developed and optimized for the detection of Shiga-toxin 2 (Stx2). Efficacy and sensitivity trials showed the AlphaLISA could detect ≥0.5 ng/mL of purified Stx2, which was comparable to the industry-standard enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tests for Stx2 detection. In addition, evaluation of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC)-inoculated Romaine lettuce and ground beef samples demonstrated that both the AlphaLISA and the ELISA were able to discern uninoculated samples from 1× and 10× diluted samples containing ~10 CFU/mL of STEC enriched in modified tryptic soy broth with mitomycin C for 16 h. Overall, the increased signal-to-noise ratios indicated a more robust signal was produced by the AlphaLISA compared to the ELISA and the delineation of higher toxin concentrations without the need for sample dilution implied a greater dynamic range for the AlphaLISA. Implementation of the newly developed AlphaLISA will allow for more rapid analysis for Stx2 with less manual manipulation, thus improving assay throughput and the ability to automate sample screening while maintaining detection limits of 0.5 ng/mL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Natural Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Release of Indospicine from Contaminated Camel Meat following Cooking and Simulated Gastrointestinal Digestion: Implications for Human Consumption
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 28 August 2018 / Accepted: 30 August 2018 / Published: 3 September 2018
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Abstract
Indospicine, a hepatotoxic arginine analog, occurs in leguminous plants of the Indigofera genus and accumulates in the tissues of grazing animals that consume these plants. Furthermore, indospicine has caused toxicity in dogs following consumption of indospicine-contaminated meat; however, the potential impact on human
[...] Read more.
Indospicine, a hepatotoxic arginine analog, occurs in leguminous plants of the Indigofera genus and accumulates in the tissues of grazing animals that consume these plants. Furthermore, indospicine has caused toxicity in dogs following consumption of indospicine-contaminated meat; however, the potential impact on human health is unknown. The present study was designed to determine the effect of simulated human gastrointestinal digestion on the release and degradation of indospicine from contaminated camel meat following microwave cooking. Results showed no significant (p > 0.05) indospicine degradation during cooking or in vitro digestion. However, approximately 70% indospicine was released from the meat matrix into the liquid digesta during the gastric phase (in the presence of pepsin) and increased to >90% in the intestinal phase (with pancreatic enzymes). Following human consumption of contaminated meat, this soluble and more bioaccessible fraction of intact indospicine could be readily available for absorption by the small intestine, potentially circulating indospicine throughout the human body to tissues where it could accumulate and cause detrimental toxic effects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Natural Toxins)
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Open AccessArticle Tissue Distribution and Elimination of Ciguatoxins in Tridacna maxima (Tridacnidae, Bivalvia) Fed Gambierdiscus polynesiensis
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 7 May 2018 / Published: 10 May 2018
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Abstract
Ciguatera is a foodborne disease caused by the consumption of seafood contaminated with ciguatoxins (CTXs). Ciguatera-like poisoning events involving giant clams (Tridacna maxima) are reported occasionally from Pacific islands communities. The present study aimed at providing insights into CTXs tissue distribution
[...] Read more.
Ciguatera is a foodborne disease caused by the consumption of seafood contaminated with ciguatoxins (CTXs). Ciguatera-like poisoning events involving giant clams (Tridacna maxima) are reported occasionally from Pacific islands communities. The present study aimed at providing insights into CTXs tissue distribution and detoxification rate in giant clams exposed to toxic cells of Gambierdiscus polynesiensis, in the framework of seafood safety assessment. In a first experiment, three groups of tissue (viscera, flesh and mantle) were dissected from exposed individuals, and analyzed for their toxicity using the neuroblastoma cell-based assay (CBA-N2a) and liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analyses. The viscera, flesh, and mantle were shown to retain 65%, 25%, and 10% of the total toxin burden, respectively. All tissues reached levels above the safety limit recommended for human consumption, suggesting that evisceration alone, a practice widely used among local populations, is not enough to ensure seafood safety. In a second experiment, the toxin content in contaminated giant clams was followed at different time points (0, 2, 4, and 6 days post-exposure). Observations suggest that no toxin elimination is visible in T. maxima throughout 6 days of detoxification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Natural Toxins)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Multi-(myco)toxins in Malting and Brewing By-Products
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 3 January 2019 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
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Abstract
Fungi, yeasts, and bacteria are common microorganisms on cereals used in malting and brewing industries. These microorganisms are mostly associated with the safety and quality of malt and beer, but also with the health safety of by-products used in animal nutrition. The real
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Fungi, yeasts, and bacteria are common microorganisms on cereals used in malting and brewing industries. These microorganisms are mostly associated with the safety and quality of malt and beer, but also with the health safety of by-products used in animal nutrition. The real problem is their harmful metabolites—toxins that, due to their thermostable properties, can easily be transferred to malting and brewing by-products. Besides fungal metabolites, other toxins originating from plants can be harmful to animal health. Precise and accurate analytical techniques broadened the spectrum of known toxins originating from microorganisms and plants that can pose a threat to animal health. Multi-(myco)toxin analyses are advanced and useful tools for the assessment of product safety, and legislation should follow up and make some important changes to regulate yet unregulated, but highly occurring, microbial and plant toxins in malting and brewing by-products used for animal feed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Safety and Natural Toxins)
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Toxins EISSN 2072-6651 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
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