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Detection of aflatoxin-contaminated maize seeds

Detection of aflatoxin-contaminated maize seeds

corn kernels

How to detect food contamination? How to check food for aflatoxins? A recent paper published by Scientific Reports shows how the VideometerLab technology can successfully detect food contamination – aflatoxin found in corn (Zea mays L.). We strongly believe that spectral imaging along with the powerful VideometerLab software can ensure food safety and become a standard in the industry.

Why detecting aflatoxins is important?

Aflatoxins are produced by specific types of molds and can be found on various crops such as maize, cottonseeds, groundnuts, or rice. These toxins can cause liver cancer or immune system weakening. It is estimated that over 5 billion people were exposed to aflatoxin-contaminated food in recent years. Furthermore, aflatoxins also impose a health risk to the livestock that is fed with contaminated feed, which then can be transferred to consumers.

Food contamination sources can be divided into natural and artificial. Hence, it is crucial for the technology to be able to detect both. The new research paper presents findings on how non-intrusive methods are effective for detecting naturally aflatoxin-B1 contaminated maize.

Fluorescence and spectral imaging for food safety

The University of Belgrade together with the Maize Research Institute decided to conduct research on how to detect aflatoxins in a non-destructive way using the VideometerLab.

nCDA and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) were applied to analyze and compare contaminated seeds with control samples. The above images present clear results – the red color depicts aflatoxin-adulterated corn kernels. It is possible to distinguish these seeds in fluorescence spectroscopy as the kernels change pigment content as a response to the contamination. This increases its reflectance, hence the VideometerLab can detect them with high accuracy. The study concluded by stating that:

The results may have an impact on the development of spectroscopic non-invasive methods for detection of Afs [aflatoxin] presence in seeds, providing valuable information for the assessment of seed adulteration in the field of food forensics and food safety.

Bartolić, D., Mutavdžić, D., Carstensen, J. M., Stanković, S., Nikolić, M., Krstović, S., & Radotić, K. (2022). Fluorescence spectroscopy and multispectral imaging for fingerprinting of aflatoxin-B1 contaminated (Zea mays L.) seeds: a preliminary study. Scientific Reports, 12(1).

References

Bartolić, D., Mutavdžić, D., Carstensen, J. M., Stanković, S., Nikolić, M., Krstović, S., & Radotić, K. (2022). Fluorescence spectroscopy and multispectral imaging for fingerprinting of aflatoxin-B1 contaminated (Zea mays L.) seeds: a preliminary study. Scientific Reports, 12(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-08352-4

Bbosa, G. S. (2013, January 23). Chapter: Review of the Biological and Health Effects of Aflatoxins on Body Organs and Body Systems.

 

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