Trained personnel are the most essential component in the establishment of laboratories such as this one. Through an on-going project supported by IAEA, six staff members were sent to Austria in August 2002 for six months of training on mycotoxin analysis in food. When they returned, they became the founding staff for the Mycotoxin Laboratory. Portions of the Mycotoxin Laboratory are being replicated in other NAFDAC area laboratories. The Mycotoxin Laboratory is equipped with modern analytical equipment, e.g., high performance liquid chromatograph (HPLC) and high performance thin layer chromatograph (HPTLC), and meets all international standards. Methods of analysis available include HPLC, HPTLC and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) techniques, all of which are used worldwide as standard methods for mycotoxin analyses. The availability of these facilities and methodologies have improved staff performance, increased the reliability of results and enabled the laboratory to apply for accreditation as a regional center of reference. The laboratory can test for all of the major mycotoxins (aflatoxins, ochratoxins and fumonisins) in cereals, oil seeds, spices, nuts and milk.

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