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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Variability Associated with Testing Shelled Corn for Fumonisin

Authors
item Whitaker, Thomas
item Trucksess, Mary - FDA
item Johansson, Anders - NCSU
item Giesbrecht, Francis - NCSU
item Hagler, Jr, Winston - NCSU
item Bowman, Daryl - NCSU

Submitted to: Journal of Association of Official Analytical Chemists International
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 27, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Fumonisin is a carcinogenic and toxic compound produced by molds found in several grains. The Food and Drug Administration is considering the establishment of an advisory or legal limit that would control the maximum quantity of fumonisin allowed in food and feed products. As a result, grain products are inspected by processors and manufacturers to detect and remove contaminated lots from the food and feed chain. It is difficult to determine errors associated with sampling, sample preparation, and analysis, collectively called the fumonisin test procedure. Errors in the test procedure result in some lots being mis-classified. Some of the good lots test bad and some of the bad lots test good. The errors associated with measuring fumonisin in shelled corn were determined. Once the magnitude of the testing errors is known, methods can be developed to reduce the testing errors which will reduce the number of lots mis-classified. This will reduce both health risks to the consumer and economic loss to the processor.

Technical Abstract: The variances associated with the sampling, sample preparation, and analytical steps of a test procedure that measures fumonisin in shelled corn were estimated. The variance associated with each step of the test procedure increases with fumonisin concentration. Using regression analyses, the functional relationships between variance and fumonisin concentration were estimated. The functional relationships were the same for total, B1, B2, and B3 fumonisins. At 2 ppm, the coefficients of variation associated with sampling (1.1 kg sample), sample preparation (Romer mill and 25 g subsample), and analysis (HPLC) are 16.6, 9.1, and 9.7 percent, respectively. The coefficient of variation associated with the total fumonisin test procedure was 45 percent and is about the same order of magnitude as measuring aflatoxin in shelled corn when using a similar test procedure.

Last Modified: 8/19/2014
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