Project Title
New bio-strategies for the detoxification of mycotoxins using lactic acid bacteria
Project Type
Nacional / Public
Funding Body
Funding Program
COMPETE (FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-028029)
  • CEB: 48 027,00
  • Total: 96 054,00
UMinho, UTAD
External link

Principal Investigator

Fellowship Members - CEB


Mycotoxins are secondary metabolites produced by molds, which are toxic to animals in small amounts and ubiquitous in many agricultural commodities. Since they have been recognized as a potential threat to human and animal health, many countries have regulations to control their presence in food and feed. The occurrence of mycotoxins in fields is inevitable under certain environmental conditions. Therefore, it is recommended that their presence should be reduced as much as technologically possible at the post-harvest level. The present methods and technologies are not always effective on that, and some may even significantly change the nutritional quality of food and feed. Therefore, researchers are still looking for better solutions. Presently, the biological approaches hold a leading role among sought strategies. Their main focus has been to find microorganisms and/or enzymes that can transform or biodegrade mycotoxins into non-toxic compounds. Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are considered health beneficial microorganisms because they are traditionally used in the production of fermented food and feed products, and because they have several well known probiotic properties. Nevertheless, more recently they also began to be known for their ability to detoxify mycotoxins. This unusual LAB characteristic is strain specific and involves adsorption and metabolization mechanisms. Presently, active strains are very rare and the involved mechanisms are not yet fully understood and clarified by researchers. They may be used as probiotic for animal nutrition, as inoculants for silages, as biocontrol agents in crop fields, as starter cultures for fermented products, and/or as starter cultures for wine malolactic fermentations. The present project intends to explore the potential of LAB to detoxify mycotoxins in food products and to elucidate some fundamental research questions on this subject.


Financiado por fundos FEDER através do Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade - COMPETE e por fundos nacionais através da Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia -FCT, ref. FCOMP-01-0124-FEDER-028029 e PTDC/AGR-TEC/3900/2012, respectivamente. Luís Abrunhosa recebeu apoio através da bolsa FCT SFRH/BPD/43922/2008