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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Technologies for Detecting and Determining the Bioavailability of Bacterial Toxins

Location: Foodborne Toxin Detection and Prevention

Title: Detection of ricin contamination in liquid egg by electrochemiluminescence immunosorbent assay

Authors
item Brandon, David
item Korn, Anna
item Yang, Lily

Submitted to: Journal of Food Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 22, 2011
Publication Date: March 19, 2012
Citation: Brandon, D.L., Korn, A.M., Yang, L. 2012. Detection of ricin contamination in liquid egg by electrochemiluminescence immunosorbent assay. Journal of Food Science. 77(4):T83-88.

Interpretive Summary: Ricin is a highly toxic protein found in castor beans, including the byproducts resulting from the industrial production of castor oil. Because ricin has been used for intentional poisoning there is a need for methods to detect ricin in food to assure a safe food supply. We developed antibodies that bind ricin, and then explored a detection system known as electrochemiluminescence. The method was sensitive and specific for detection of ricin intentionally added to liquid egg.

Technical Abstract: A monoclonal antibody-based electrochemical luminescence (ECL) method was developed for detecting and quantifying ricin in liquid egg, with a limit of detection of 0.2 ng/mL. Because this highly toxic protein, present in the seeds of Ricinus communis (castor), has been used for intentional poisoning in the past, it is important to have sensitive and reliable analytical methodology to detect ricin in food matrices such as liquid egg. The detection of this quantity of pure or crude ricin spiked into commercial samples of liquid egg provides approximately 50,000-fold greater sensitivity than required to detect a toxic dose of ricin (>1 mg) in a 100 g sample.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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