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Title: Feasibility of FT-Raman spectroscopy in rapid and routine screening for deoxynivalenol in wheat and barley

item Delwiche, Stephen - Steve

Submitted to: Journal of Food Additives & Contaminants
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/28/2009
Publication Date: 10/1/2009
Citation: Liu, Y., Delwiche, S.R., Dong, Y. 2009. Feasibility of FT-Raman spectroscopy in rapid and routine screening for deoxynivalenol in wheat and barley. Journal of Food Additives & Contaminants. Part A. 26(10):1396-1401.

Interpretive Summary: Contamination of cereal grains with fungal toxins such as deoxynivalenol (DON, also known as vomitoxin) poses a serious human health risk. Current methods used to detect DON in wheat and barley grain products are too slow and costly. Food safety regulators and manufacturers of ready-to-use grain products are in need of a routine detection method that is rapid and accurate. A new technique called Raman spectroscopy utilizing laser light of a single wavelength was tested for feasibility in rapid, non-destructive screening of DON-contaminated ground wheat and barley. Although this technology was not effective for measuring DON concentration per se, it was able to distinguish grain with high versus low levels of DON. The goal of this research is to provide regulatory agencies and the cereal grain industry with a new method to better ensure the safety of our food supply.

Technical Abstract: Rapid and routine detection of deoxynivalenol (DON) in cereals-based food and feed has long been a strong desire of regulators and manufacturers. Traditional chemical methods and antibody based biosensors and immunoassays have been developed as viable tools to identify and measure DON. However, these methods include time-consuming, multi-step procedures, and also require species-specific antibody reagents. Infrared (IR) and near infrared (NIR) spectroscopic techniques have been attempted for the prediction and classification of contaminated single-kernel and ground grain without any DON extraction steps, but these methods are hindered by the intense broad spectral bands attributed to naturally occurring moisture. As an alternative to IR and NIR, Raman spectroscopy could be an important approach because of its insensitivity to water and fewer overlapping bands. The present study explores the feasibility of a Raman technique in routine, rapid, and non-destructive screening of DON-contaminated wheat and barley meal through a simple intensity-intensity algorithm at two frequencies.