ProGnosis Biotech targets aflatoxin B1 and total aflatoxin

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Lateral flow tests are for nuts, dried fruit, grain and spices. Picture: iStock/conejota
Lateral flow tests are for nuts, dried fruit, grain and spices. Picture: iStock/conejota
ProGnosis Biotech has launched two lateral flow tests for aflatoxin B1 and total aflatoxin.

Symmetric B1 ES and Symmetric Total ES can have two different extractions.

One will be 70% methanol and the second is ‘green’ as it involves water and a specific buffer.

The coefficient variant (CV) for the tests is less than 8% and limit of quantification (LOQ) is 0.5ppb.

Quantification ranges are 0-8 ppb for Symmetric B1 ES and Total ES, methanol or water extraction. They can reach 0-40 ppb with extra dilutions.

Sensitive, accurate and stable

Platon Chitzos, exports manager, said the tests are 10 minutes long.

“We want to be sensitive, accurate and stable. We also want to be simple so we offer the possibility of common extraction in the water or methanol version. One common extraction for all mycotoxins,” ​he told us

“It is something we demonstrated in the FAPAS proficiency test in February on corn. We participated on all mycotoxins with our ELISAs and for aflatoxin B1 and total aflatoxin with Symmetric B1 ES and Total ES.

“The CV is unique, there is no other lateral flow testing any kind of non-milk product with such a coefficient variant, the sensitivity is very low which no other competitor has and thirdly the range of validated matrixes is also unique, we have no problem testing products such as hazelnuts, figs, DDGS or corn silage.

“The cross reactivity with B2, G1 and G2 are above 60% like ELISA tests.”

The European Union lower limits are 2 parts per billion (ppb) for ​Aflatoxin B1 and 4 ppb of total aflatoxins.

Aflatoxins are mycotoxins produced by two species of Aspergillus​, a fungus found in areas with hot and humid climates.

They can occur in groundnuts, tree nuts, maize, rice, figs and other dried foods, spices, crude vegetable oils and cocoa beans because of fungal contamination before and after harvest.

Aflatoxin B1 is the most common in food and among the most potent genotoxic and carcinogenic.

Lateral flow or ELISA

The lateral flow tests are for all kinds of nuts, dried fruit, different kinds of grain and spices.

Chitzos said the choice between ELISA and lateral flow depends on the number of samples and the cost.

“An ELISA kit that is fully utilised might be a bit cheaper than lateral flow. But, until now ELISA was preferred as a more accurate method in comparison to lateral flow but that is the innovation that we are trying to substitute ELISA with an accurate method which can stand up to the purpose,” ​he said.

“We are trying to change the mindset of people that think lateral flow tests are not accurate enough so we want to control the transition to faster, testing truck-to-truck methods, as we believe there will be a transition.” 

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