Submitted to: Council for Agricultural Science and Technology Issue Paper
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2001
Publication Date: 1/31/2003
Citation: WHITAKER, T.B. DETECTION OF MYCOTOXINS. RICHARD, J.L., PAYNE, G.A., EDITORS. COUNCIL FOR AGRICULTURAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ISSUE PAPER, AMES, IA. MYCOTOXINS: RISKS IN PLANT, ANIMAL, AND HUMAN SYSTEMS. 2003. p. 89-101.
Technical Abstract: It is difficult to estimate accurately and precisely the mycotoxin concentration in a large bulk lot because of the large variability associated with the mycotoxin test procedure. A mycotoxin test procedure is a complicated process and generally consists of three steps: (a) a sample is taken from the lot, (b) the sample is ground in a mill to reduce particle size and a subsample is removed from the comminuted sample for extraction, and (c) the mycotoxin is extracted from the comminuted subsample and quantified. Even when using accepted test procedures, there is variability associated with each of the above steps of the mycotoxin test procedure. Because of this variability, the true mycotoxin concentration in the lot cannot be determined with 100 percent certainty by measuring the mycotoxin concentration in the sample taken from the lot. The variability for each step of the mycotoxin test procedure is shown to increase with mycotoxin concentration. Results are presented to show that sampling is usually the largest source of variability associated with the mycotoxin test procedure. Sampling variability is large because a small percentage of kernels are contaminated and the level of contamination on a single seed can be very large. The variability associated with a mycotoxin test procedure can be reduced by increasing sample size, the degree of sample comminution, subsample size, and the number of aliquots quantified.