CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production

Milano, Italy

CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production

Milano, Italy

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Solfrizzo M.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Gambacorta L.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Visconti A.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production
Toxins | Year: 2014

Human exposure assessment to deoxynivalenol (DON), aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), fumonisin B1 (FB1), zearalenone (ZEA) and ochratoxin A (OTA) can be performed by measuring their urinary biomarkers. Suitable biomarkers of exposure for these mycotoxins are DON + de-epoxydeoxynivalenol (DOM-1), aflatoxin M1 (AFM1), FB1, ZEA + α-zearalenol (α-ZOL) + β-zearalenol (β-ZOL) and OTA, respectively. An UPLC-MS/MS multi-biomarker method was used to detect and measure incidence and levels of these biomarkers in urine samples of 52 volunteers resident in Apulia region in Southern Italy. The presence of ZEA + ZOLs, OTA, DON, FB1 and AFM1 were detected in 100%, 100%, 96%, 56% and 6%, of samples, respectively. All samples contained biomarkers of two or more mycotoxins. The mean concentrations of biomarkers ranged from 0.055 ng/mL (FB1) to 11.89 ng/mL (DON). Urinary biomarker concentrations were used to estimate human exposure to multiple mycotoxin. For OTA and DON, 94% and 40% of volunteers, respectively exceeded the tolerable daily intake (TDI) for these mycotoxins. The estimated human exposure to FB1 and ZEA was largely below the TDI for these mycotoxins for all volunteers. © 2014 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


Monaci L.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Visconti A.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production
Trends in Food Science and Technology | Year: 2010

The hazard of hidden allergens in the food chain has generated the need for sensitive and reliable methods tracing food allergens in different commodities. The most recent methods employing immunochemical and DNA recognition for food allergen detection are reviewed and compared to mass spectrometric methodologies. Major issues such as the influence of food matrix and food processing on the extraction/detection of food allergens are also tackled. In order to produce trustful results there is urgent need for reliable methods underpinning quality assurance scheme. Elements including the use of reference materials, method validation and proficiency testing scheme in food allergen analysis are discussed. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


Pascale M.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Panzarini G.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Visconti A.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production
Talanta | Year: 2012

European intake estimates indicate that the presence of HT-2 and T-2 toxins in cereals, mainly in oats, can be of concern for human health. Therefore, the development of sensitive, rapid and reliable methods for determining these mycotoxins in cereals, in particular oats, has high priority. A rapid ultra-performance liquid chromatographic (UPLC) method has been developed for the simultaneous determination of HT-2 and T-2 toxins in oats and wheat at μg kg -1 level. Ground samples were extracted with methanol/water (90:10, v/v) and the diluted extracts were cleaned up through immunoaffinity columns. HT-2 and T-2 toxins were separated and quantified by UPLC with photodiode array (PDA) detector (λ = 202 nm) in less than 5 min. Mean recoveries from blank oats samples spiked with HT-2 and T-2 toxins at levels of 50-1000 μg kg -1 ranged from 87 to 96%, with relative standard deviations (RSDs) lower than 7%; mean recoveries from wheat spiked with HT-2 and T-2 toxins at levels of 25-100 μg kg -1 ranged from 91 to 103%, with RSDs lower than 5%. The limit of detection of the method was 8 μg kg -1 for both toxins (signal-to-noise ratio 3:1). The method was successfully applied to the analysis of HT-2 and T-2 toxins in naturally contaminated oats and wheat samples. A good correlation was found by comparative analysis of naturally contaminated samples of oats (r = 0.9985) and wheat (r = 0.9058) using the proposed method or a reliable HPLC method with fluorescence detection after pre-column derivatization with 1-anthroylnitrile. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Visconti A.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Pascale M.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production
Cereal Chemistry | Year: 2010

Fusarium head blight (FHB) is one of the major diseases of wheat (both common and durum wheat) caused by various fungi including Microdochium nivale and different Fusarium species. Most of the Fusarium species associated with FHB (mainly F. graminearum, F. culmorum and F. sporotrichioides), under favourable environmental conditions, can produce various toxic secondary metabolites (mycotoxins) that can contaminate grains. The major Fusarium mycotoxins that can occur in wheat and derived products are deoxynivalenol, nivalenol, T-2 and HT-2 toxins, and zearalenone. Processing has generally significant effects on the levels of mycotoxins in the final products. Deoxynivalenol is typically concentrated in the bran coat which is removed in the production of semolina; consequently, a consistent reduction of deoxynivalenol levels has been observed during each of the processing steps, from raw durum wheat to pasta production. To allow monitoring programs and protect consumers' health, several analytical methods have been developed for Fusarium mycotoxins, based on chromatographic or immunometric techniques. The European Union has established maximum permitted levels for some Fusarium mycotoxins in cereals and cereal-based products (including unprocessed durum wheat, bran, wheat flour, and pasta). Recommendations for the prevention and reduction of Fusarium mycotoxins contamination in cereals based on identification of critical risk factors and crop management strategies have been published by the Codex Alimentarius and the European Commission. © 2010 AACC International, Inc.


Pilolli R.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Monaci L.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Visconti A.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production
TrAC - Trends in Analytical Chemistry | Year: 2013

The risks associated with the presence of hidden allergens in the food chain have raised the need for fast, sensitive, and reliable methods to trace food allergens in different commodities.We highlight advances and future trends in biosensor systems applied to food-allergen management. We discuss critical aspects of biosensor development with particular emphasis on integrating nanotechnology. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Lippolis V.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Maragos C.,U.S. Department of Agriculture
World Mycotoxin Journal | Year: 2014

Fluorescence polarisation immunoassay (FPIA) is a type of homogeneous assay. For low molecular weight antigens, such as mycotoxins, it is based on the competition between an unlabeled antigen and its fluorescent-labelled derivative (tracer) for an antigen-specific antibody. The antigen content is determined by measuring the reduction of fluorescence polarisation signal, which in turn is determined by the reduction of tracer molecules able to bind antibody in solution. To develop a competitive FPIA for mycotoxin measurement the tracer has to be synthesised and its binding response with a specific antibody should be tested. Selectivity and sensitivity of the FPIA methods are strictly related to the antibody/tracer combination used. Several FPIA methods for the detection of the major mycotoxins, including aflatoxins, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, deoxynivalenol, T-2 and HT-2 toxins and zearalenone in food and beverages have been developed in the last decade. Basic principles, key elements, advantages and limitations of these methods are reviewed. These FPIA methods are simple, readily automated, rapid, and suitable for high-throughput screening, as well as for the reliable quantitative determination of mycotoxins in foods and commodities.


Monaci L.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | De Angelis E.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Visconti A.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production
Journal of Chromatography A | Year: 2011

A sensitive and accurate method employing a single stage high resolution mass spectrometer equipped with a high-energy collision-dissociation cell (HCD) for the simultaneous determination of deoxynivalenol (DON), T-2 toxin (T-2) and HT-2 toxin (HT-2) in a processed bread model food has been developed. Two sample pre-treatment routes for the extraction of these mycotoxins were investigated, based on Mycosep ® column clean up or QuEChERS-like procedure, respectively. The former approach suffered less from matrix effects and allowed to achieve in bread samples LODs of 7, 12 and 17ng/g for T-2, HT-2 and DON, respectively, with 0.5ppm mass accuracy. Two acquisition modes, full scan MS and all ion fragmentation, exploiting the fragmentation features offered by an HCD chamber and integrated within the Orbitrap analyser, were compared for quantitative purposes. The method was applied to investigate the degradation of these mycotoxins during bread processing using a bread model food. Most T-2 hydrolyzed to HT-2 during dough preparation, and about 20-30% of HT-2 and DON was degraded during bread baking. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


Leone A.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production
Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry | Year: 2014

Polyphenols, secondary metabolites widely present in plant kingdom, are known for their positive effects on human health, such as treatments of degenerative disease and cancer. Many dietary polyphenols show anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and antioxidant properties and they are proposed as chemopreventive agents for many skin disorders and cancer. Exposure to solar UV radiation is widely considered to cause skin cancer and a consistent carcinogenic dose derived from UVA causes several skin disorders as a consequence of free radicals generation and DNA damages. In this study, verbascoside, isoverbascoside and tyrosol were investigated for their effects on HEKa (Human Epidermal Keratinocytes adult) cell cultures challenged from UVA-rays. Non-toxic doses of each polyphenol were assayed on HEKa before, during and after the exposure to a damaging dose of UVA. Treatment with polyphenols before and after the UVA-irradiation exerted a pro-oxidant effect, while the simultaneous treatment caused a weak decrease of ROS production. The increasing of ROS levels was associated with a proapoptotic effect on HEKa, detected by AnnexinV/Propidiun Iodide, mainly evident in surviving cells treated with the polyphenols after the UVA-irradiation. The pro-apoptotic effect was confirmed by the immunodetection of significant changes in the Bax and Bcl-xL protein levels, leading to apoptotic events. The hypothesis that these polyphenols could trigger the apoptosis pathway mainly in UVA-damaged cells, via ROS increase, is here proposed as action mechanism behind their protective effect.


Coscia A.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production
The journal of maternal-fetal & neonatal medicine : the official journal of the European Association of Perinatal Medicine, the Federation of Asia and Oceania Perinatal Societies, the International Society of Perinatal Obstetricians | Year: 2012

Cow's milk proteins (CMPs) are the best characterized food allergens. The aim of this study was to investigate cow's milk allergens in human colostrum of term and preterm newborns' mothers, and other minor protein components by proteomics techniques, more sensitive than other techniques used in the past. Sixty-two term and 11 preterm colostrum samples were collected, subjected to a treatment able to increase the concentration of the most diluted proteins and simultaneously to reduce the concentration of the proteins present at high concentration (Proteominer Treatment), and subsequently subjected to the steps of proteomic techniques. The most relevant finding in this study was the detection of the intact bovine alpha-S1-casein in human colostrum, then bovine alpha-1-casein could be considered the cow's milk allergen that is readily secreted in human milk and could be a cause of sensitization to cow's milk in exclusively breastfed predisposed infants. Another interesting result was the detection, at very low concentrations, of proteins previously not described in human milk (galectin-7, the different isoforms of the 14-3-3 protein and the serum amyloid P-component), probably involved in the regulation of the normal cell growth, in the pro-apoptotic function and in the regulation of tissue homeostasis. Further investigations are needed to understand if these families of proteins have specific biological activity in human milk.


Morandi S.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production | Brasca M.,CNR Institute of Sciences of Food Production
Food Control | Year: 2012

Antibiotic susceptibility, antimicrobial activity, genotypic and technological properties of 52 Streptococcus thermophilus isolates, collected from four north Italian traditional cheeses, was investigated. RAPD-PCR, was used to study genetic variability and distinguish closely related strains; the results showed a high degree of heterogeneity among isolates. With regard to technological properties, after 6 h of incubation in milk 25% of the streptococcal strains could be defined as fast acid producers, while after 24 h the majority of isolates (79%) displayed only weak acidification activity. Reduction activity was generally low; in fact, none of these S. thermophilus strains showed a Eh < -102 mV). All the studied S. thermophilus were susceptible to ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, penicillin G, ampicillin, mupirocin, nitrofurantoin, quinupristin/dalfopristin and rifampicin. Nine isolates were classified as resistant to tetracycline, 6 to streptomycin, 5 to oxacillin, 3 to erytromycin, 3 to vancomycin and only one to chloramphenicol. PCR-based detection did not identify any of the common genetic determinants for vancomycin (vanA, vanB, vanC1, vanC2, vanC3, vanD, vanE, vanG) or erythromycin (ermB and ermC). The genetic basis of the tetracycline resistance phenotype in these strains was linked to tetS- tetL genes (8 isolates) or the tetM gene (1 isolate), and the integrase element int of the Tn. 916/Tn. 1545 family of transposons was negative. Four strains were able to produce antimicrobial compounds against Clostridium tyrobutyricum. The study provides new evidence of the resistance of S. thermophilus to antimicrobial agents, confirming the importance of including an accurate safety assessment of phenotypic/biotechnological data when carrying out strain selection for dairy applications. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.

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