Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/26/2019
Publication Date: 2/1/2020
Citation: Maragos, C.M. 2020. Commercial immunoassays for detecting aflatoxins. Chapter 4, In: Kintzios, S., Mavrikou, S. editors. Aflatoxins: Biochemistry, Toxicology, Public Health, Policies and Modern Methods of Analysis., Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc. p. 91-115.
Technical Abstract: In an effort to divert aflatoxins from the human food and animal feed supplies, the people who produce and process commodities conduct extensive monitoring. The need for low cost screening assays that can function at the low levels commensurate with regulatory requirements has driven substantial research in this area. About 40 years ago enzyme linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) began to become commercially available for the aflatoxins. In the interim the number of commercial immunoassay products has blossomed and now includes many formats such as ELISAs, immunoaffinity columns, flow-though membrane-based devices, immunochromatographic test strips (lateral flow immunoassays, LFIA, or dipsticks), fluorescence polarization immunoassays, and biosensors. This chapter focuses on the application of commercial immunoassays to the screening of aflatoxins in commodities, foods, and biological fluids. The criteria for selecting the appropriate commercial test will vary depending upon where and how it will be used. Such criteria typically include cost, accuracy, cross-reactivity, applicability to the desired commodity or food, speed, format, and sensitivity. Because users have very different needs there is no single, best, test or format. Low cost and fast time-to-results are reasons why the ELISA and the LFIA formats have proven to be particularly successful commercially. The objective of this chapter is to help users locate test kits that best fit their applications. To this end, the chapter contains information on the physical properties of the aflatoxins, screening tests that have undergone validation, sources of test kits, and additional resources to assist in making an informed decision.