The Solution

img05The proposed MYCOSPEC project will develop innovative tools based on solvent-free infrared spectroscopic fingerprinting techniques and novel IR-laser and waveguide technologies for the rapid on-site diagnosis of fungal contaminations in foods or in liquid foodstuffs such as, for example, homogenized foodstuff or beverages. The envisaged approach will enable the development of a compact yet highly sensitive tool, which will ensure that larger volumes of the cereals and foodstuffs can be probed, sensitively detected, and quantified. The high information content of infrared spectroscopic analysis combined with multivariate calibration and data classification will provide a novel approach for rapid, high-throughput monitoring of plant main components obtaining rapid information on crop quality and safety, essential for screening systems in the food and feed sector. Data acquired will be available and stored in detail (i.e., on a single spectra basis) for validation exercises with established lab-based methodology, which acts as a reference point for field-based measurements to document accuracy and precision of the obtained analytical results. Implementation of multivariate data analysis methodology in an easy-to-use software package will provide an immediate yes/no indicator to non-expert personnel for final decision-making. Both, measurement and data analysis approaches will be packaged in a rugged system suitable for deployment in agro-industrial environments.