ORC paper selected for a worldwide press release by the American Chemical Society

Published on
November 28, 2016

The recently accepted paper entitled “Analysis of Mycotoxins in Beer Using a Portable Nanostructured Imaging Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensor” by ORC PhD Sweccha Joshi in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry has been selected as the topic of a press release that will be included in the American Chemical Society (ACS) Office of Public Affairs’ Weekly PressPac, a package of announcements that ACS sends to thousands of journalists around the world. The release will include a hyperlink to the paper on the ACS website. Journalists may use the announcement as written, or as the basis for a longer story that includes an interview.

Press release story:

Detecting potentially harmful mycotoxins in beer

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry

Beer is one of the world’s most popular alcoholic beverages. Having a safe supply is a big deal, but low levels of some contaminants called mycotoxins can lurk in brews. Now scientists have developed a portable, reusable sensor that can identify these toxins in beer with high sensitivity and at a lower cost than other methods. Their study appears in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Because of its alcohol content and the high temperatures required to make beer, most consumers might assume that contamination by biologically derived compounds is not an issue. But mycotoxins, which are produced by fungi that can infect grains used in beer-making, can survive the brewing process and end up in the final product. Some mycotoxins have been shown to cause genetic damage in cells and cancer in animals. Currently, methods to detect mycotoxin contamination in beer are costly and require in-laboratory analysis. Sweccha Joshi, Teris A. van Beek and colleagues wanted to come up with a less expensive, portable alternative.

Building on technology used to detect mycotoxins in grains, the researchers developed a biosensing chip that can bind these compounds when they are present in beer samples. The team also could reuse the chip 450 times before it started to fail. Testing on commercial beer and barley showed that the portable instrument could detect “theoretical safe limits” that the researchers estimated for ochratoxin A (0.2 nanograms/milliliter) and deoxynivalenol (120 ng/mL).

The authors acknowledge funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research.

“Analysis of Mycotoxins in Beer Using a Portable Nanostructured Imaging Surface Plasmon Resonance Biosensor” DOI: 10.1021/acs.jafc.6b04106