CHICAGO -- Pesticides, toxins, and molds... oh, my! These substances sound scary in relation to food; however, regulators, manufacturers, and scientists work hard to keep unwanted mold species, toxins, and pesticide residues out of the food supply. Ways they do so will be discussed at IFT's 1999 Annual Meeting.
Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), industry, and academia will address the regulatory aspects of pesticide residues in foods in "The Food Quality Protection Act: Developments and Implications for Food and Agriculture" (Symposium 32, July 26, 9 AM). The pros and cons of this EPA legislation and its risk assessment assumptions will be presented.
"Contaminant Issues in International Trade: Current and Proposed Standards" (Symposium 52, July 27, 9 AM) will examine global food safety standards concerning heavy metals, such as tin and arsenic, dioxins (environmental contaminants from certain industrial processes), and mold toxins, including ochratoxins (produced by Penicillium and Aspergillus species), fumonisins (produced by Fusarium species), and aflatoxin (produced by Aspergillus species). The standard-setting process of the international Codex Alimentarius Commission and lessons learned from differing standards among countries and trade blocks will also be covered.
"Developments in Food Mycology" (Symposium 81, July 28, 9 AM) will identify the yeasts, molds, and mold toxins that can contaminate specific kinds of foods, such as cereal grains and tree nuts. The use of sensors, genetic fingerprinting, and immunological tests to detect these problem fungi will be discussed along with antimicrobial substances and processing methods that can control them.