Course Food and Indoor Mycology 2018 by Webmaster Courses 2018-07-13 13:02:14
October 8-10 2018 Registration

Venue: Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, Utrecht, Uppsalalaan 8, The Netherlands.
Price: € 1299,-

Two courses on different, but connected topics are taught in this week: “Food and Indoor Mycology” (3 days) and “DNA based identification of fungi” (2 days). This course in the identification and detection of food- and indoor fungi is unique in the world. It is packed with background information on several subjects, such as the recognition, detection, occurrence and impact of these fungi on food products and in human dwellings. After completion of both courses, you will also be up to date in detection and identification of food- and indoor fungi. We aim reach a broad audience including people that work in food and indoor related companies, (routine) laboratories, academia and research institutes who would like to expand their knowledge on fungi occurring on food and in indoor environments.

The course “Food and Indoor Mycology” (8-10 October 2018) focuses on the classical detection and identification methods of food- and indoor fungi. A hands-on training will be taught in phenotype based identification of common food- and airborne contaminants. This 3-days course is supplemented with several in-depth lectures on specific topics:
•          Fungi and living crops
•          Spoilage of processed food
•          Fungi and mycotoxins
•          The indoor challenge, fungal indoor growth and health aspects
•          Detection of fungi in indoor environments and foods
•          The fungal spore in food mycology
•          Fungi as food

“Hands-on” programme:
Examples of more than 50 fungal and yeast species relevant for food and indoor environments will be available for examination. Included genera are Mucor, Rhizopus, Mycocladus, Syncephalastrum, Talaromyces, Chaetomium, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Paecilomyces, Wallemia, Cladosporium, Fusarium, Botrytis, Alternaria, Scopulariopsis, Trichoderma, Geotrichum, Saccharomyces and Aureobasidium.

Day 1. Monday, October 8 2018

  • 09:30   Welcome and general introduction
  • 09:45   Fungi and living crops: Post-harvest diseases – dr. Jan Dijksterhuis (Westerdijk Institute, Utrecht, NL).
    The relation between fungi and living agricultural crops can be regarded as plant-pathogenic in nature, which includes a complex communication between parasite and host. Some of these fungi enter intact crop cells without directly killing the host. They initially establish a fungus–host interface as a biotrophic fungus that can exhibit prolonged survival in a quiescent state, which can be followed by a necrotrophic infection stage in which plant tissue is killed and lesions develop. The true necrotrophic fungi start to kill plant tissue directly upon entering the host. The so-called opportunistic fungi cause infections of fruit, vegetables, or flower bulbs by entering cracks, wounds or natural orifices on the surface of crops. In this presentation some principles of infection are illustrated and some fungi involved in post-harvest disease are highlighted.
  • 10: 15  Coffee & tea
  • 10:45   Associated mycobiota of food and in indoor environments – dr. Jos Houbraken (Westerdijk Institute, Utrecht, NL).
    The mycobiota is defined as the total fungal inventory of the area/product under consideration. Normally less than 10 and often one to three species are responsible for spoilage. In this presentation an outline is given of the occurrence of various kinds of fungi in the indoor environment and on feeds and food products and the factors that play a part in fungal growth on them.
  • 11:30   Important mycotoxigenic fungi in food and indoor environments – dr. R.A. Samson & dr.  Houbraken (Westerdijk Institute, Utrecht, NL).
    Filamentous fungi are in general able to produce a large number of different secondary metabolites and an important part of these metabolites can be regarded as mycotoxins. Mycotoxins can evoke an acute or chronic disease in low concentrations and the toxicity of these toxins can vary greatly. There are more than 300 mycotoxins known today, however, and only a few are well-described in terms of toxicological terms with regulation and legislation for maximum limits (e.g. aflatoxins, ergot alkaloids, fumonisins, ochratoxin A, patulin, trichothecenes and zearalenone). There was a common view that fungi growing on building materials did not make mycotoxins. This is incorrect: fungi that grow on damp building materials can produce low-molecular-weight toxins. These toxins can have health effects of individuals living and working in damp and mouldy buildings. An overview of important mycotoxigenic fungi in food and indoor environments is given.
  • 12:15   Lunch
  • 13:00   Introduction to Zygomycetes, with examples
  • 15:00   Introduction to Aspergillus, with examples

Day 2. Tuesday, October 9 2018

  • 09:30   Mycotoxins in the supply chain: emerging risks, analysis and interpretation – t.b.a.
    Preventative measures during growth of crops and in the supply chain insure low levels of (regulated) mycotoxins in food in Europe. However, the presence of mycotoxins in products can change due to climate, economic, and social changes. Furthermore, developments in analytic methods allow us to detect mycotoxins more accurately (incl. masked mycotoxins) and the industry and government should be aware of these possible changes. Well-known mycotoxins are nowadays detected in products, in which they were not detected previously. For example, due to extreme drought, aflatoxins can be present in corn from South and Southeast Europe. The industry and government should pay attention to the risks of mycotoxins and risk assessment should be conducted when changes are applied in production and logistics.
  • 10: 15  Coffee & tea
  • 10:45   The fungal spore in food mycology (heat-resistant fungi and challenge tests) - dr. Jan Dijksterhuis (Westerdijk Institute, Utrecht, NL).
    Food spoilage by fungi often starts with colonization by survival structures called fungal spores. The several types of spores are highlighted here and also a number of their special properties introduced. Fungal spores, in many cases designated as conidia, and the way they are formed are important for the recognition of fungal genera. As vehicles of survival, these cells are capable of surviving more stressful situations than growing fungal mycelium. Some ascospores formed by food spoilage fungi belong to the most resilient eukaryotic cells described to date. The biology of these spores will be discussed in this seminar. Finally, the characteristics of spore inactivation will be discussed.
  • 11:30   Detection and identification of food and indoor fungi – dr. Jos Houbraken (Westerdijk Institute, Utrecht, NL).
    Fungi cause spoilage in food and feed and can grow in the indoor environment. For detection, it is important to use the correct techniques (e.g. agar media, incubation temperature). Furthermore, a fast and accurate identification will give additional information on e.g. the source of contamination and the possible presence of mycotoxins. Besides the detection and identification of fungi in food and indoor environments, the interpretation of the results is also crucial. Speaker will give examples.
  • 12:15   Lunch
  • 13:00   Introduction to Penicillium and Talaromyces

Day 3. Wednesday, October 10 2018

  • 09:30   The indoor challenge, fungal indoor growth – dr. Jan Dijksterhuis (CBS, Utrecht, NL).
    Growth of fungi in buildings causes health problems and introduces cosmetic problems on indoor surfaces. Fungal proliferation indoors is often related to leakage, flooding, condensation and humidity problems. Lack of ventilation may aggravate these problems. Initially, the terminology to describe the availability of water will be discussed in this lecture. Then the different fungal species that occur indoors are introduced.  The ability of indoor fungi to survive periods of low relative humidity and the moisture content of the building material are important factors in determining the presence of indoor fungi. Furthermore, the relation between outdoor and indoor fungi is highlighted.
  • 10: 15  Coffee & tea
  • 11:30   Introduction to anamorphic and ascomycetes fungi
  • 12:15   Lunch
  • 13:00   Continuation lab work
  • 16:00   Closure and general remarks – dr. Jos Houbraken (Westerdijk Institute, Utrecht, NL)

Dr. J. Houbraken and Dr. J. Dijksterhuis. Lectures will be presented by specialists from Westerdijk Institute and invited speakers.

Language of instruction:
The course is taught in English.

The course will take place at the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, Utrecht, Uppsalalaan 8, The Netherland

Course Food and Indoor Mycology: € 1299,-
DNA based identification of fungi: € 999,-
Course Food and Indoor Mycology package: € 1949,-

Lunches and the course book “Food and Indoor Fungi” by Samson et al. are included in the course fee; accommodation excluded