I hope you are all doing well. After the first year of my presidency of ISM, I would like to inform you on the activities that took place in 2021.
ISM virtual Executive Committee meetings took place on March 25, 2021 and August 27, 2021 with all members (President: Sarah De Saeger, 1st Vice-President: Sheila Okoth, 2nd Vice- President: Isabelle Oswald, Secretary: Antonio Moretti, Treasurer: Giancarlo Perrone, Past presidents: Rudolf Krska, Antonio F. Logrieco and Deepak Bhatnagar).
Despite the Covid pandemic, the MycoTWIN-MycoKey International Conference took place in Bari, Italy (November 9-12, 2021), which was attended live as well as through on-line connections. On that occasion, we could organize an ISM session on “Voices from mycotoxin societies in the world” with presentations from Prof. Sheila Okoth, president of the African Society of Mycotoxicology and Prof. Adriana Torres, president of the Latin American Society of Mycotoxicology. Moreover, we organized the ISM General Assembly and awarded ISM awards for best poster presentations which were received by Belinda Janse Van Rensburg (Stellenbosch University, South Africa), Clara Pedrazzani (University of Parma, Italy), Vincenzo Lippolis (CNR – ISPA, Italy) and Mario Masiello (CNR – ISPA, Italy).
ISM Executive Committee in Bari, Italy, November 2021 at the occasion of the MycoTWIN-Mycokey International Conference (from left to right: R. Krska, A. Moretti, S. De Saeger, I. Oswald, G. Perrone and A. Logrieco; S. Okoth attended on-line).
As one of the objectives of the Society is to further build a strong mycotoxin research community, we took the initiative to formally involve representatives of other international mycotoxicology societies. So far, the ISM Board has been extended with:
–Dr. Lindy Rose, African Society of Mycotoxicology
–Dr. Yemisi A. Jeff-Agboola, the President of the Mycotoxicology Society of Nigeria
–Prof. Sofia Noemi Chulze, Latin American Society of Mycotoxicology
–Prof. Amnart Poapolathep, the President of the Thailand Society for Mycotoxicology
–Dr. Ronald Maul, Gesellschaft für Mykotoxinforschung
I am also happy to announce that Affidia, the Journal of Food Diagnostics, has affiliated with ISM. All Affidia Journal ‘s contents are available online with a free subscription. The printed version is available via a paid subscription with discounted prices for ISM members. Moreover, Affidia Journal offers webinar registration with 30% discount for ISM members. For detailed information on all ISM affiliated journals, please visit the ISM website International Mycotox Society | International Mycotox Society (mycotox-society.org).
ISM is now widely present on social media on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram (International Society for Mycotoxicology) and Twitter (ISM_Society). Do not hesitate to follow us.
Dear colleagues and friends, keep safe and take care. I trust we will meet soon again on one of the next conferences!
Prof. Sarah De Saeger
The African Society of Mycotoxicology (ASM) together with MYTOX-SOUTH® is proud to announce the 3rd African Symposium on Mycotoxicology joint MYTOX-SOUTH® conference. Due to COVID19 the conference it has been postponed to September 4-7, 2022 in Stellenbosch, South Africa. The in-person conference will be held under the auspices of the International Society for Mycotoxicology (ISM). The host country, South Africa, has a rich history of mycotoxin research while the conference town of Stellenbosch is an agricultural hub that provides an ideal setting for this long-awaited conference. Despite the global pandemic, caused by the Corona virus (Covid-19), still at large the availability of vaccines provides hope that all stakeholders will be able to travel and participate in what is sure to be an exciting conference. We wish you all good health and safety and look forward to welcoming you to the 3rd ASM joint MYTOXSOUTH® meeting in South Africa. More information can be found on: ASM – Mytox South Conference | 4 – 7 SEPTEMBER 2022, South Africa (asmmytox.com)
The 13th conference of the World Mycotoxin Forum® – WMFmeetsItaly – will take place in Parma, Italy, on 16 – 18 May 2022. It will bring together a holistic conference programme covering the latest issues in mycotoxin management and mitigation, analysis, and toxicology. The more recent advancements in the field will be discussed in the light of global challenges such as climate change, food (in)security, and circular economy.
Located in northern Italy in Emilia-Romagna region, Parma is a wonderful destination for those
who appreciate art, architecture, and Italian food. After the hard times due to COVID pandemic, we are committed to re-connect in person the WMF community and offer an unforgettable conference. The General Conference Chairs – Prof. Rudolf Krska and Prof. Chris Elliott – together with the members of the International Advisory Committee are looking forward to connecting with you all in-person. More information can be found on: The World Mycotoxin Forum Connects
Chiara Dall’Asta and Michele Suman, Local Organising Committee
The Society for Mycotoxin Research is pleased to announce the 43rd Workshop on Mycotoxins, to be held in Toulouse, France, from May 30 to June 01, 2022. This workshop will be organized by the Society for Mycotoxin Research, in collaboration with INRAE, ENSAT, EI Purpan, IRD and the Faculty of Pharmacy of the University of Toulouse and will take place at the Hôtel-Dieu Saint Jacques, 2, rue Viguerie – 31300 Toulouse. The Brigitte Gedek Prize will be awarded on this occasion. For more information, please go to: https://www.mycotoxin- workshop.eu/.
The 21st Fusarium Laboratory Workshop will be held at Kansas State University in Manhattan Kansas, USA from 19-24 June 2022. The workshop covers a broad range of topics including morphology, phylogeny, plant pathology, genetics and mycotoxicology. The Workshop will be team taught by a group of instructors from industry and academics in seven different countries. Limited financial assistance is available for students and scientists from less- developed countries. Registration opens 12 March 2022. For more information go to www.plantpath.ksu.edu/fusarium or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISM will be sponsoring the e-conference on Pathogens and Natural Toxins (1st July-31 August 2022), by supporting the best presentations awards during the Toxic Fungi session. More information can be found on: https://pntec.sciforum.net/
In 2021 a two year EFSA project on mycotoxins, MYCOBOOST, led by Prof. Chiara Dall’Asta, of Parma University, has started. The main objective of MYCOBOOST is to develop an integrated collaborative model for knowledge exchange and methodology harmonization in mycotoxin risk assessment, promoting capacity building and public engagement. Four leading institutions in the field, University of Parma, CNR-ISPA of Bari, Italy, Ghent University, Belgium, INRAE of Bordeaux, France, are working synergistically to offer a comprehensive approach from field to fork, exploring emerging risks and cutting-edge methodologies.
MYCOBOOST is specifically designed to maximise the knowledge transfer within the consortium in the field of mycotoxin risk assessment, as well as to foster the capacity building potential towards stakeholders (i.e. art.36 institutions, ENP and pre-accession countries representatives) and young scientists.
The ultimate ambition is to develop a permanent capacity building program to train the next generation of risk assessors in the mycotoxin field, not only from EU, but mainly from low-to- middle income countries. The generated knowledge will be made available through a knowledge sharing platform to the EU and non-EU scientific community.
FoodSafety4EU is a collaborative action, coordinated by Dr. Veronica Lattanzio (CNR-ISPA), to support the European Commission (EC) in shaping the Food Safety System of the future. During 3 years, the project will deliver solutions to support the EC in its endeavour in aligning research, policy and innovation with the societal needs and perspectives and improving food safety across Europe.
The platform will be built through a dynamic participatory process: a structured dialogue on policies, research strategies and communication initiatives relevant for the FSS. This approach will maximise cooperation within the system and with the civil society, boosting the co- creation of strategies and their translation into policies and funding programmes.
One group of experts is implementing this approach to discuss on mycotoxins seen as a circularity related (re) emerging issue. The aim is to develop a new data format for risk assessment that incorporates the data need for sustainability, for example climate change and consumption data. This data format will be validated with a trial risk assessment to identify any potential gaps. To know more have a look here and stay tuned for incoming updates.
PHOTONFOOD is a four-year research and innovation project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101016444 and is part of the Photonics Public Private Partnership (www.photonics21.org, @Photonics21). The project is a collaboration between 13 partner organisations in 8 European countries, and is coordinated by the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU), Norway NMBU. Scientists from eight European countries have been collaborating since summer 2021 to create two new devices to ensure that your food is free from contaminations detrimental to your health. One of the devices will be handheld and allow daily monitoring from the farm to the fork, the other device will be portable and for reference analysis, developed for use at every step in the food production chain. The new, yet to be developed devices will use innovations in mid-infrared sensing and advanced data analysis. The device will detect both microbial contamination and harmful chemical compounds.
Not only will the handheld and portable food safety scanner and analyser make it easier to find fungi, mycotoxins, pesticides and antibiotics in food and food ingredients – it will also bring down the cost of testing. Visit the PHOTONFOOD web site, photonfood.eu for news, updates and more information.
MycoTWIN is a Horizon 2020 – Twinning project aiming to strengthen research in the field of mycotoxigenic fungi and mycotoxins in TUBITAK MAM Food Institute (Turkey) and in stakeholders from Turkey by linking them with two internationally-leading research institutions, CNR-ISPA (Italy) and UV (Spain). The project will accelerate a highly synergistic collaboration with these research institutes via knowledge and experience transfer.
The project successfully completed its first year activities. 1st Working Group Meeting of MycoTWIN was organized on June 23, 2021 with the cooperation of FoodSafety4EU project regarding the proposal preparation matters for Horizon Europe calls and the future of food safety research in Europe. 1st Info Day -“Osmaniye Peanuts from Field to Table” was held in Osmaniye, Turkey where the solutions and suggestions of the problems in the agriculture, processing and marketing of peanuts were evaluated. Also, MycoTWIN-MycoKey International Conference and the simultaneous workshop took place in Bari, Italy (November 9-12, 2021). And lastly, 2nd Info Day -“Enhancing Aflatoxin Research Capacity in Hazelnut” was organized recently in Giresun, Turkey on February 24, 2022.
For further information about MycoTWIN, please visit the website https://mycotwin.eu/ and also subscribe to the MycoTWIN newsletter.
While one of the main objectives of MYTOX-SOUTH® is to create a network through collaboration in human and infrastructural capacity building, we had to rely on digital tools to continue our activities due to the pandemic. On October 13th 2020, a webinar called ‘Showcasing academic collaboration between Ghent University and its Nigerian partners’ was organised by the Ghent African Platform (GAP). Since the collaboration agreement between MYTOX-SOUTH®, MYCOKEY and the EUROPEAN COMMISSION, JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE
(JRC), Directorate Sustainable Resources (Ispra), Food Security Unit was signed, three virtual webinars were organized in the framework of this collaboration: “Mycotoxins predictive modelling in Africa” (October 26, 2020); “How to improve knowledge on mycotoxins and food security. A Europe-Africa dialogue” (November 27, 2020) and “Mycotoxins and post-harvest losses in sub-Saharan African countries” (June 18, 2021). Another important presentation of MYTOX-SOUTH® was given at the Fourth African Union – European Union Agriculture Ministerial Conference entitled “Current status of food safety big data in Europe & Africa” (June 22, 2021). This was a great chance to gain high-level visibility and to broaden the MYTOX- SOUTH® network. MYTOX-SOUTH® also joined Lady-Agri (https://www.lady- agri.org/#WhatWedo) which is an impact investment hub for female agri-entrepreneurs in Africa. To obtain an overview of the current mycotoxin legislation in the South, two webinars were organized, on Africa (May 6, 2021) and Latin-America (April 30, 2021). MYTOX-SOUTH® launched the fourth Traineeship call and accepted the proposals from Olabisi Adeola Lanlokun (Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, Ogun state, Nigeria) and Kgomotso Galian Setsetse (Northwest University, South-Africa). The fifth Traineeship call was launched in November 2021 and a large amount of applications was received. We will be happy to welcome Girma Mulisa Misgana (Ethiopia) and Joseph Kumphanda (Nigeria/Malawi). Furthermore, Elijah Kamundi (Malawi) will perform research at the Institute of Sciences of Food Production in Bari, Italy under guidance of MYTOX-SOUTH® partner Dr. Antonio Moretti. For more information, please visit the website: Mytox-South (mytoxsouth.org)