Location: Food and Feed Safety Research
2010 Annual Report
During FY 2010, ARS (New Orleans, LA) continued to identify secondary metabolic products (not needed for growth) produced by aflatoxin-producing strains of Aspergillus flavus, as well as, Aspergillus flavus strains that do not produce this toxin, on sterile cracked corn. Also studied were volatiles produced by sterile cracked corn. Comparison of the results allowed the identification of volatiles unique for the toxigenic strains of Aspergillus flavus when growing on corn. The produced volatiles were also correlated with the presence of aflatoxin produced by the fungus.
SDC has used the data to develop a series of prototype instruments that use proprietary sensor chips and mathematical formulas to detect the volatiles specific for toxigenic Aspergillus flavus. This prototype unit is scheduled to undergo Beta testing in corn elevators during late FY 2010–2011. If successful, this unit will be the first commercially available real-time sensor for toxigenic Aspergillus flavus growth and aflatoxin production in stored corn. Research progress was monitored through teleconferencing, visits to cooperators' labs, and scientific discussions at professional society meetings.