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Published Articles from USDA ARS National Program 108: Food Safety
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Title: Detecting maize inoculated with toxigenic and atoxigenic fungal strains with fluorescence hyperspectral imagery
Authors: Yao H, Hruska Z, Kincaid R, Brown RL, Bhatnagar D, Cleveland TE
Journal: Biosystem Eng
Accepted date: 2013 Mar 8
Interpretive summary: Aflatoxins are poisons produced by the fungus Aspergillus flavus after it infects agricultural commodities such as corn. Since aflatoxins in food and feed are regulated, enhanced ability to detect and measure fungal growth and aflatoxin contamination of corn could contribute significantly towards the separation of contaminated from healthy grain. A collaboration between ARS-SRRC, Food and Feed Safety Research Unit and Mississippi State University, Stennis Space Center, MS is exploring the use of hyperspectral imaging non-destructive technology to detect mycotoxin-producing fungi in grain products. The objective of the current study was to assess, with the use of a hyperspectral sensor, the difference in fluorescence emission between corn kernels inoculated in the field with toxigenic or atoxigenic Aspergillus flavus strains. After harvest, kernels were examined on the “germ” side and on the “endosperm” side, however, the “germ” side showing the best results. Contaminated kernels all had longer peak wavelengths than did healthy ones. Further experiments may lead to this technology being used to rapidly and accurately detect/measure Aspergillus flavus infection/aflatoxin contamination of corn without destruction of healthy grain. This could provide a useful tool to both growers and buyers in the corn industry that could enhance protection of food and feed as well as increase profits.
Publication date: 2013 Jun
Volume: 115
Issue: 2
Pages: 125-135