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Development of pyrrolizidine alkaloid detection methods for the assessment of food contamination and impact on human and animal health

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "PATOX" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: BT7 1NN

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 183˙454 €
 EC max contribution 183˙454 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.3.2. (Nurturing excellence by means of cross-border and cross-sector mobility)
 Code Call H2020-MSCA-IF-2014
 Funding Scheme MSCA-IF-EF-ST
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-01-18   to  2018-01-17


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    THE QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY OF BELFAST UK (BELFAST) coordinator 183˙454.00


 Project objective

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids are more than 600 individual compounds that are hazardous for animals and humans if ingested. The 3% of the flowering plants produce these type of molecules and grow as weeds in agricultural production systems throughout the world where they can contaminate commonly consumed foods (eg. grain, milk, meat, eggs, honey, pollen). Chronic exposure to low concentrations of these alkaloids can be the cause of progressive, chronic disease (hepatic damage, vascular obstructive disease, and cancer) that may be difficult to attribute to their presence in food. The 2007 statement from the European Food Safety Authority calls to generate more quantitative data sets on pyrrolizidine alkaloids levels in milk and honey, and to determine which PA plants and/or marker PA need to be considered relevant in animal feed. In the same direction, this Authority pointed in 2011 that toxicological data for pyrrolizidine alkaloids commonly found in honey was needed. Even though some countries have regulated the concentration of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in herbs used in traditional medicines, a general European legislation regulating the concentrations of these alkaloids in food is still pending. The present project propose the use of state of the art technology (UPLC-Qtof-MS, antibody microarrays) to better understand the distribution of pyrrolizidine alkaloids producing plants in relation to food content, and determine the incidence of exposure to these molecules in humans and animals. The results will impact several levels of society, the scientific results will provide science legal advisors with solid data to better inform law makers in the regulation of pyrrolizidine alkaloids in food, society will gain knowledge on the exposure to this type of molecules and on hazardous dietary habits, and food industry will benefit through the introduction of practices to avoid pyrrolizidine alkaloids containing components in food.

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The information about "PATOX" are provided by the European Opendata Portal: CORDIS opendata.

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