Master’s project: Occurrence of aflatoxins in food products marketed in the Middle East – North Africa (MENA) region

Our team is currently seeking a motivated candidate for a Master's degree project. The project is part of a collaboration between the Food Risk Analysis and Regulatory Excellence Platform (PARERA) – of the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods (INAF) and the Department of Food Science of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FSAA) of Laval University, QC, Canada – and the Global Food Regulatory Science Society (GFoRSS).


Aflatoxins, the toxic metabolites produced by several fungus species, pose a serious public health risk when found in agricultural commodities and processed food products. This risk is managed by competent authorities through the establishment of maximum limits, which are strongly enforced in the context of international trade. However, domestic compliance is often neglected and exposure and/or risk estimates for the local population are limited to very specific aflatoxin-product-country combinations (i.e., aflatoxin M1 in milk products and aflatoxin B1 in rice).


This project aims at surveying the occurrence of aflatoxins (total) in various food products marketed in the MENA region to provide a portrait of the domestic aflatoxin exposure. This data could then be incorporated into risk assessment models to inform competent authorities of the public health risk this exposure represents. 


This study includes the following sub-objectives:


  1. Identify the analytical methods used to detect and quantify aflatoxins by official laboratories in the MENA region
  2. Identify food products of interest to be included in the study
  3. Characterize the performance of selected analytical methods to detect and quantify aflatoxins in the selected food products, using incurred matrices
  4. Develop experimental protocols for the detection and quantification of aflatoxins in the selected products using the selected methods
  5. Generate and analyse data on the occurrence and levels of aflatoxins in food products marketed in the MENA region


The student may be occasionally involved in other projects related to the expertise of the PARERA team.

Required documents

  • Cover letter
  • Curriculum vitæ 
  • Transcript of grades


To apply, please submit the required documents to Silvia Dominguez:

Application deadline: March 31st, 2023

Start date: Fall 2023.