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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Rapid, Non-Invasive, and Early Warning Detection of Mycotoxigenic Aspergilli on Almonds and Pistachios in Holding, Storage, and Transit

Location: Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention

Project Number: 5325-42000-037-14
Project Type: Specific Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Oct 01, 2012
End Date: Jun 30, 2015

Objective:
Continue investigation of recently discovered volatile profile of germinating aspergilli spores on almond and pistachio, including volatile compounds unique to the germinating spores on these hosts; use volatile profile in conjunction with a portable GC-MS system to develop a near real time portable field volatile sampling device capable of early warning detection of aspergilli infected almond and pistachio; remove aflatoxin-producing aspergilli hot spots from almond and pistachio stockpiles and transit containers thus decreasing human health risks and product loss as a result of Aspergillus contamination.

Approach:
ARS: Using key fungi identified from current research the ARS lab will: commence investigation of volatile limits of detection vs. aspergilli contamination levels; continue inoculation of whole almonds and pistachios, increasing complexity of fungi bouquet – apply results to optimizing GCMS detector; conclude all laboratory-based experiments to fully characterize volatiles from all nut components and whole sources; perform inoculations of almonds and pistachios and execute blind tests for detection of inoculated nuts located in laboratory- and field-based stockpiles; and, perform in-field analyses with portable GCMS detector, analyze results, and in disseminate results. Torion: Using results from the ARS lab, Torion personnel will: design custom air sample collection device for volatiles from almond and pistachio stockpiles and containers; concurrently design and implement experiments for MS performance, response, internal references, and quantitation of detected volatiles; build designed collection device; test new hardware in portable GCMS; redesign, build, and test hardware to fix any problems found in initial design; Assist with in-field analyses with portable GCMS detector, analyze results.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
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