The European–African partnership for Safe and efficient use of mycotoxin-mitigation strategies in sub-Saharian Africa

Project consortium and fund

Consortium Project Coordinator

Prof. dr. S. Croubels (MYTOX-SOUTH, Ghent University, Belgium) Siska.Croubels@ugent.be

Project Partners (PP)

Dr. J.K. Gathumbi

(University of Nairobi, Kenya) jkgathumbi@gmail.com

Prof. dr. P. Njobeh

(University of Johannesburg, South-Africa) pnjobeh@uj.ac.za

Prof. dr. M.-L. Scippo (University of Liège, Belgium)


Dr. S. Uhlig

(Norwegian Veterinary Institute, Norway)


Associate Partners (AP)

Dr. J. Lindahl

(ILRI, Kenya)



Ms. E. Ogutu

(PACA, Ethiopia)


Dr. G. Schatzmayr

(BIOMIN Research Centre, Austria)


Prof. dr. N. Jonsson/Dr. F. McLean

(Harbro Limited, Scotland)


Project members (PM)

Prof. dr. E. Kang’ethe*

(University of Nairobi – ILRI)


Dr. D. Grace




Prof. dr. S. De Saeger,

Dr. M. De Boevre &

Dr. G. Antonissen

(Ghent University)

Sarah.desaeger@ugent.be; Marthe.deboevre@ugent.be


Prof. dr. V. Delcenserie (University of Liège)


Thematic and geographic area of the project:    

  • Sustainable food security
  • Animal sciences
  • Food technology and safety
  • Pest and disease control
  • Post-harvest innovations
  • Food value-chain
  • Rural development and agricultural economy
  • Food systems governance and farmers organizations

Project’s summary/abstract:                    

MycoSafe-South, the “European–African partnership for safe and efficient use of mycotoxin-mitigation strategies in sub-Saharan Africa”, intends to harness the expertise and infrastructure available in Europe by strengthening the capacity of the Southern partners to tackle the mycotoxin problem and the associated food safety issues. This project will identify safe and efficient mitigation strategies to reduce aflatoxins (AFs) and fumonisins (FBs) exposure in Africa, with special focus on children.

Project’s main objective(s):                             

This project aims

  1. to provide safe-use options for AFs and/or FBs-contaminated food for children and adults through means of safe and efficient post-harvest intervention strategies, including nixtamalization, dehulling, fermentation and the usage of mycotoxin binders and/or modifiers investigated via in vitro and in vivo studies,
  2. to develop intervention strategies to reduce human (paediatric) exposure to AFs through animal products (i.e. milk, meat and eggs), and
  3. to improve sustainability of the acquired results by organizing education programmes and awareness campaigns that will facilitate best practices, transfer the acquired knowledge and help stakeholders to understand mycotoxin-associated health risks.

Theory of Change and Impact Pathway

Summary ToC with assumptions                         

  • Safe and efficient post-harvest food processing and detoxification protocols to decrease the negative effects of aflatoxins (AFs) and fumonisins (FBs) on human health (incl. children), resulting in less children and adults suffering from the negative health impact of AFs and FBs, and less children with mycotoxin-induced stunting.
  • Human capacity and awareness building on mycotoxins risks and mitigation strategies through on-site training of community (families), nutritionists, veterinarians and farmers (small-scale subsistence farming and commercial farming).
  • Biomarkers to assess AFs and FBs exposure and effect in human and animals (dairy cattle, laying hens and broiler chickens), and efficient mitigation programs in human and animals.
  • Human and infrastructural capacity building and implementation of suitable models for efficacy testing of detoxification methods in humans (a.o. surrogate paediatric piglet model for children), by stakeholders (a.o. food and feed sector) and governments (via PACA).
  • Increased food safety with respect to AFs and FBs contamination.
  • Suitable models for efficacy testing of detoxification methods in dairy cattle and poultry, and stimulating ruminal AFs degradation, both leading to safe and efficient AFs detoxification in dairy and poultry (lower level of AFM1 in milk and of AFs and metabolites in poultry products).
  • Improved animal health and efficiency of livestock production.
  • Promoting trade opportunities for crops and animal products (i.e. milk, meat and eggs).
  • Further development of African centres of excellence and point of contact for service to society, education and research on the topic of mycotoxins and their mitigation.

Expected outcomes and impact:                          

Important MycoSafe-South project outcomes include:

  • Safe and efficient food-processing techniques that will be distributed to stakeholders, by a.o. the Kenyan Cereal Millers Association and the iZindaba Zokudla project (an isiZulu phrase for ‘Conversations about food’, which aims to create opportunities for urban agriculture in a sustainable food system);
  • Reliable information and training sessions to African families on the health risks associated with mycotoxins and how to use the mitigation methods;
  • Reliable information on how AFs and FBs in feed contribute to negative animal health and production effects in African dairy cattle, laying hens and broiler chickens;
  • Safe and efficient mycotoxin detoxifiers for African dairy cattle that will be distributed to stakeholders, by a.o. the Kenyan Cereal Millers Association, the iZindaba Zokudla Farmers’ Lab and BIOMIN;
  • Safe and efficient mycotoxin detoxifiers for African laying hens and broiler chickens that will be distributed to stakeholders, by a.o. the Kenyan Cereal Millers Association, the iZindaba Zokudla Farmers’ Lab and BIOMIN;
  • Reliable analytical methods (SOPs) to assess mycotoxins in food and feed, and their relevant biomarkers in human and food-producing animals.