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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Study of Cotton Color by Chromophore Release and Identification Project Number: 6435-44000-076-07
Project Type: Nonfunded Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: May 01, 2013
End Date: Jun 30, 2014

The purpose of the research is to identify chromophores in the cotton samples that have a range of color values as identified by high volume instrumental (HVI) testing. The research is part of a larger effort to understand the phenomenon of color change in cotton fiber that sometimes occurs during storage and transportation. Color change is a problem because the USDA tests, and by implication, certifies domestically produced cotton, and the color grade is a major factor in determining the value of cotton. If the color changes during storage and shipment, there may be substantial economic implications. Previously, chromophores have been detected in artificially aged cotton linters, but this effort targets the cotton lint fibers that are used in the textile industry. It is anticipated that the same cotton samples could be subjected to artificial aging after the initial testing is performed. One particularly important question is whether there are chromophores characteristic of Maillard reactions between amino acids and carbohdrates, or whether the predominant chromophores are quinone-type compounds.

ARS will ship 10 lbs. each of three different cotton samples having a wide range of color values that were obtained from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service, Memphis, Tennessee. An equal amount will be held in reserve in New Orleans, Louisiana. The samples will be assessed by the Chromophore Release and Identification method. As time and degree of interest permit, additional analyses will be performed.

Last Modified: 11/24/2015
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