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Detoxification of natural toxins in liquid substances

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Partner keyword: 
Drink Technology
Food Microbiology / Toxicology / Quality Control
Safe production methods
Micro- and Nanotechnology related to agrofood
Drinking Water
Wine and liquors
Health food
Soft drinks and bottling plants
Water treatment equipment and waste disposal systems


A Spanish university has developed a method for the detoxificacion of liquids contaminated with natural toxins (mycotoxins, phycotoxins, cyanotoxins) based on the use of magnetic nanoparticles that retain the toxins and afterwards are removed from the liquid. The technology is fast and cheap and can be applied in agrofood industry or in water treatments. It was validated in relevant environments. The team is looking for a license agreement with entities able to commercialise the technology.



The existence of contaminants in water or beverages may involve a risk to human and animal health. Thus, their presence must be kept at levels that are tolerable from a toxicological point of view. Sensitive methods for toxin detection and effective decontamination are therefore needed to eliminate or reduce their presence.
Toxins such as mycotoxins, phycotoxins and cyanotoxins are the largest group of natural contaminants (of biological origin, produced by microorganisms) that most frequently appear in water or in the food chain.
Current detoxification methods regarding mycotoxins typically use quenching (adsorption, chelating or sequestering) agents based on their ability to form complexes with them, reducing mycotoxin absorption in the gastrointestinal tract. These methods have a questionable effectiveness since they do not remove toxins from the contaminated raw materials. Likewise, quenching methods for cyanotoxins are used, based on coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, chlorination, ultraviolet irradiation or filtration through different filters, especially activated charcoal or aluminum sulphate. At present there is no effective detoxification method for marine toxins.
The detoxification of contaminated food, feed, or beverages is thus very desirable and important for human and animal health.
A Spanish university has developed a highly effective method able to trap a wide range of natural toxins (such as mycotoxins, phycotoxins and cyanotoxins) existing in a liquid environment such as beer, wine, milk, water, etc. and encapsulate them in magnetic nanoparticles that are afterwards easily removed from the substance. The technology has been successfully tested in relevant environment.
The technology is quick, safe and cheap with no need of new equipments’ installations. It can also be adapted to remove other chemical substances or for extraction procedures.
The university would like to sign a license agreement with a partner interested in commercialise this technology to agrofood or water treatment companies.

Advantages & innovations

Cooperation plus value: 
The main difference in relation to other technologies is that by using this method the toxins don't remain in the product but are eliminated from the liquid in question. Other innovative advantages can be summarized as follows: • Quick and secure detoxificacion method • Allows to remove a large number of toxins • Very fast and unexpensive • No equipment necessary • Adaptable to remove other chemicals and also in extraction procedures

Stage of development

Cooperation stage dev stage: 
Field tested/evaluated

Partner sought

Cooperation area: 
The university is looking for a partner with contacts in beverage sector (beer, wine, milk, water, etc.) or from the field of water treatment that would like to sign a license agreement with the aim of further commercialise the technology.