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The Korea National Food Cluster, developed fungal toxin in grain-reduction processing technology.

The Foodpolis Support Center (hereinafter, “Support Center,”), President Tae-jin Yun, announced that they succeeded in ‘development of fungal toxin in grain-reduction processing technology and application of pilot production; through the overseas joint technology development project. 

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs and Support Center has been supporting the research on reduction of Ochratoxin A (OTA) produced in grains (rice, oat, etc.) for the past three years since 2016.

Korea University and Dongwon Home Food composed the international consortium with Idaho State University in the USA, with the goal of developing processing technology that can be applied to the field, not just for academic purposes.

OTA, which is fungal toxin, shows toxicity mainly to the kidney and the liver and bowels. It is classified as a carcinogen (Group 2-B) that can induce cancer in humans. 

OTA is the secondary metabolite produced by fungus. WHO and UNFAO are evaluating that fungal toxins are more dangerous than food additives or pesticide residues in terms of food safety. 

Grains high in carbohydrates are a food group where fungus is most frequently contaminated. Fungal toxins produced by fungus are relatively stable against heat so it remains without being eliminated even after processing once it is contaminated.

In particular, OTA is detected not only in agricultural products such as nuts, grains, fruits, etc. but also processed foods such as meat processing products including milk, wine, beer, etc. 

In Korea, if a raw material is contaminated by higher-than-permitted-level of fungal toxins through a preliminary inspection, the import of that raw material is restricted. 

The research team of Professor Gwang-won Lee of Korea University that supervised this research said, “Application of (3) patents on ‘OTA reduction using processing technology’ have been completed for the first time in Korea. We informed people of the excellence of the results of this research worldwide by publishing these in a famous journal * in the food safety field and giving six academic presentations at an internationally authoritative conference in the field of toxicity and others.”


Tae-jin Yun, President of the Korea National Food Cluster said, “we will respond to safety problems of grain processed food proactively by applying this processing technology to foods for infants and toddlers and senior-friendly foods which use grains as main ingredients in the middle of fungal toxin being on the rise as a global problem of food safety.

(Source: Korea Rural community Broadcasting System http://www.newskr.kr/news/articleView.html?idxno=30622)

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