Mycotoxins are toxic compounds produced by different types of fungi. They are present in air and soil and can potentially contaminate food and commodities. Mycotoxins are capable of causing disease and death in both humans and other animals.

To offer an ability to detect mycotoxins in food and commodities, NSTDA researchers - BIOTEC, NECTEC and MTEC - teamed up with Thammasat University and Queen’s University Belfast to develop MycoSMART, a mycotoxin strip based on microarray technology.

Dr. Grit Picha-yaway-tin, member of NECTEC Spectroscopic and Sensing Devices Research Group, explained that the development of MycoSMART brought together expertise in various fields from partners in Thailand and overseas. The system consists of three main parts:  a microarray signal reader, a microarray-based test strip and a highly specific and stabilized luminescent organic compound.

MycoSMART offers multiplex detection of five mycotoxins - aflatoxin B1 (found in starch and peanut), deoxynivalenol (found in cereal grains such as wheat, corn, barley), fumonisin B1 (found in corn), T-2 toxin (found in cereal grains such as oat, adlay) and zearalenone (found in feed ingredients). The test is simple, specific, rapid, and inexpensive. It can used by famers and business operators in agro-industry, livestock, and food processors to screen for mycotoxins in their farm commodities and food products.

This technology is presently under development and testing.