The research objectives will during the lifespan of this project focus on mitigation against mycotoxins for food safety and improved public health and trade, and conduct only regional surveillance of chemical residues (heavy metals, veterinary drug and pesticides residues and hydrocyanic acids in cassava food products), COVID 19 and Lassa Fever.
1. Genomic surveillance of fungi and food borne pathogens using molecular based techniques, and proteomic and metabolomics for identification of novel fungi in the entire value chain from farm to fork of the most consumed and economically valuable crops and their food and feed products (i.e. maize, rice, sorghum, millet, wheat, soybean, cassava, sesame, groundnut, animal feed, livestock products including milk, fish and egg, fruits and vegetables) in Central and West African regions.
2. Mycotoxins analysis using LC/MS/MS, HPLC and GC/MS in the entire value chain from farm to fork of the most consumed and economically valuable crops and their food and feed products (i.e. maize, rice, sorghum, millet, wheat, soybean, cassava, sesame, groundnut, animal feed, livestock products including milk, fish and egg, fruits and vegetables) in Central and West African regions.
3. Biomonitoring of veterinary drug and pesticide residues, heavy metals in foods and feeds
4. Mycotoxin and other chemical residues Exposure and Risk Assessments Studies, and development of rapid, low cost biomarkers for use in surveillance systems.
5. Development (and use) of Predictive Mathematical Models for Early Warning Systems
6. Varietal selection and breeding of drought, pest, toxigenic fungi and mycotoxin resistant cultivars
7. Identifying genes encoding for resistance to drought, pests, toxigenic fungi and mycotoxins for producing transgenic crops via genetic modification techniques.
8. Biocontrol of fungi and mycotoxins: through identification of fungi antagonist and endophytes that will eliminate fungi from crops and improve host resistance to pests in the field.
9. Developing biopesticides from essential oils and other plant products possessing both insecticidal and fungicidal properties
10. Developing multi-mycotoxin nanobased feed binders and detoxifiers
11. Portable mycotoxin detecting system for food
12. Developing codes of practice and instruments for prevention and control of mycotoxin in susceptible food products along the entire food value chain
13. Contribute to the development of standards based on data from surveillance of chemical residues in selected staples and for HCN in cassava products to support the elaboration of regional standards by CODEX Alimentarius.
14. Research on COVID 19 and Lassa Fever on Genomic surveillance, health impact (including simultaneous infection with other endemic communicable and non-communicable diseases; malaria etc.), nutritional intervention strategies, development of rapid testing methods, drug and vaccine development against COVID 19 and Lassa Fever.