7 October 2016

4pm – 6pm

SIT@SP Building, Level 5

510 Dover Road, Singapore 139660




According to a WHO estimation about 25% of agricultural commodities world-wide are infected by molds, which contaminate foods with mycotoxins. Many foods can be invaded by these molds, which belong mainly to the families of Aspergillus, Penicillium, Fusarium and Alternaria. The approaches how different countries deal with the consumers’ threat are diverse with almost no or few risk management actions in many countries. The most thorough risk assessment and management currently is applied in the European Union (EU), which may serve as a worldwide model in this respect.


In cereals, the most common fungal genus involved is Fusarium. Major Fusarium toxins such as deoxynivalenol, zearalenone and fumonisins are regulated by EU legislation. Analytical food chemistry has developed accurate methods for controlling these contaminants. However, during the last years so called “emerging” and “modified” mycotoxins have been discovered, which are either plant metabolites of the fungal toxins or produced by other ubiquitous fungi such as Alternaria species. These new compounds and the respective analytical tools will be presented in the lecture.


Despite the current analytical developments in metabolomics, mycotoxin analysis still is challenging with regard to accurate quantitation and newly identified compounds. However, risk assessment and preventing hazards for the consumers requires data on exposure and toxicological properties, which are still lacking for many substances. Therefore, it can be concluded that in this respect we still see only the tip of the iceberg.




Prof. Dr. Michael Rychlik is the Head of the Chair of Analytical Food Chemistry at the Technical University of Munich, Germany (TUM). He graduated in food chemistry at the University of Kaiserslautern in 1988. His PhD studies on the flavour of bread were completed in 1996 and he was appointed full professor at the TUM in 2010. In 2015 he served as a Visiting Professor at the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia and in 2016 he was appointed an Honorary Professor at the latter University. Currently he is active as a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS).


His group has been working for 15 years in the field of developing analytical methods for bioactive food components, in particular for vitamins, mycotoxins, odourants and lipids. For these compounds, he developed stable isotope dilution assays that reveal superior accuracy. Moreover, his research is focused on the application of these methods to recent areas in food chemistry, technology, toxicology and nutrition. Since 2014 he serves as the Head of the “Committee on Contaminants in the Food Chain” at the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment, Berlin, Germany.

Registration for the Public lecture has closed. You are welcome to join us at the session today.

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