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Food Microbial Hazards & Adulteration Detection

Food Microbial Hazards & Adulteration Detection

Recently, Videometer welcomed a Greek Ph.D. candidate at their premises. George Froutis comes from the Agricultural University of Athens, an academic partner of the EU-funded project – DiTECT. The researcher is here to investigate a new rapid and non-invasive method for the detection of mycotoxins in corn-based products.

DiTECT’s Efforts to Ensure Food Quality

DiTECT is a Sino-European project that focuses on enabling digital technologies to advance food quality and safety. The research revolves around standardization, big data, prediction, and monitoring along the whole food supply chain. The consortium involves multiple stakeholders from food authority, industry, and academia. Videometer is proud to be a part of a change for more robust and efficient food testing. Our instruments and expertise are used to ensure reproducible and accurate measurements of food samples. Earlier this year, as part of the collaboration Videometer hosted Dr. Anastasia Lytou, who used the VideometerLab for non-destructive prediction of microbiological growth on meat products.

Detection of Adulteration and Contamination in Corn Starch

Ph.D. candidate, George Froutis, with his specialization in food microbiology hazards, begun his analysis by measuring corn starch adulteration. George prepared two samples of corn starch, one adulterated with cassava starch and the second one – corn blended with rice flour. The researcher found that the VideometerLab can detect adulteration, the results have shown that the samples were not 100% pure, as well as the approximate level of adulteration. 

This study is important, as some food producers tend to blend cheaper products like cassava starch or rice flour with more expensive corn starch. The study shows how the Videometer technology can aid with fast, non-invasive measurement of purity of the sample, in this case corn starch.

George Froutis is planning to continue his research with the VideometerLab. The Ph.D. candidate will now analyze contaminated corn-based samples with mycotoxins. After a successful study on the detection of aflatoxins B1 in corn kernels, we believe further studies will also bring fruitful results. 

Ph.D. Candidate, George Froutis (middle) with Videometer’s CEO, Dr. Jens Michael Carstensen (right) and Videometer’s CINO, Dr. Nette Schultz (left).

First Experience with the VideometerLab

It was George’s first time using the Videometer technology, he mentioned that Videometer Academy was very helpful to grasp an understanding of how to utilize the extensive capabilities of the software and spectral imaging. Furthermore, he found the Help section in the Videometer Software useful for finding comprehensive guides and documents regarding the uncertainty and questions he had.

The Videometer Academy materials were easy to follow and great for someone who did not have previous knowledge, or experience using the instrument. I could also count on [Videometer] colleagues in the office.
George Froutis, Ph.D. Candidate from the Agricultural University of Athens

We strongly believe that a way to grow is to collaborate with multiple stakeholders. We were happy to share know-how and learn from our DiTECT visitor. We are looking forward to seeing his results on aflatoxin-contaminated maize.


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