What do washing clothes and extracting mycotoxins have in common?

When clothes are washed, oil droplets that contain dirt particles (a) need to be removed. By adding a detergent during the wash cycle, soap molecules mix with water and get into contact with the textile fabric (b). The “oil loving” (hydrophobic) ends of the soap molecules are attached to the oil/dirt while their water loving (hydrophilic) ends remain in the water. When many soap molecules are attached, the oil particle is fully enclosed and a vesicle forms that is soluble in water (c). The tumbling motion during the wash cycle beats those oil containing vesicles in the wash water and removes them from the textile fabric. Just as hydrophobic dirt particles are removed from textile fabric, hydrophobic mycotoxins are removed from grain particles. The shaking motion during extraction moves the encapsulated mycotoxin vesicles into the extraction liquid, making it accessible for detection.

Source: Beatrice the Biologist

This article was published in our Spot On magazine

Other interesting topics In this issue:

  • Is accuracy the price we’re paying for faster results?
  • Extracting mycotoxins with water – can that work?

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